Verse > Anthologies > William Wilfred Campbell, ed. > The Oxford Book of Canadian Verse
William Wilfred Campbell, comp.  The Oxford Book of Canadian Verse.  1913.
My Madonna
By Robert William Service (1874–1958)
I HAILED me a woman from the street,
  Shameless, but, oh, so fair!
I bade her sit in the model’s seat,
  And I painted her sitting there.
I hid all trace of her heart unclean;        5
  I painted a babe at her breast;
I painted her as she might have been
  If the Worst had been the Best.
She laughed at my picture and went away.
  Then came, with a knowing nod,        10
A connoisseur, and I heard him say:
  ‘’Tis Mary, the Mother of God.’
So I painted a halo round her hair,
  And I sold her, and took my fee,
And she hangs in the church of Saint Hilaire,        15
  Where you and all may see.

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