Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > An American Anthology, 1787–1900
Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  An American Anthology, 1787–1900.  1900.
677. Transfigured
By Sarah Morgan Bryan Piatt
ALMOST afraid they led her in
  (A dwarf more piteous none could find):
Withered as some weird leaf, and thin,
  The woman was—and wan and blind.
Into his mirror with a smile—        5
  Not vain to be so fair, but glad—
The South-born painter looked the while,
  With eyes than Christ’s alone less sad.
“Mother of God,” in pale surprise
  He whispered, “what am I to paint!”        10
A voice, that sounded from the skies,
  Said to him, “Raphael, a saint.”
She sat before him in the sun:
  He scarce could look at her, and she
Was still and silent…. “It is done,”        15
  He said.—“Oh, call the world to see!”
Ah, this was she in veriest truth—
  Transcendent face and haloed hair.
The beauty of divinest youth,
  Divinely beautiful, was there.        20
Herself into her picture passed—
  Herself and not her poor disguise,
Made up of time and dust…. At last
  One saw her with the Master’s eyes.


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