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Stedman and Hutchinson, comps. A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes. 1891.
Vols. IX–XI: Literature of the Republic, Part IV., 1861–1889


By Sarah Morgan Bryan Piatt (1836–1919)

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—

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!”

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,”

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.

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.