Sarah Morgan Bryan Piatt (1836-1919)
1Almost afraid they led her in:
2 (A dwarf more piteous none could find);
3Withered as some weird leaf, and thin,
4 The woman was – and wan and blind.
5Into his mirror with a smile –
6 Not vain to be so fair, but glad –
7The South-born painter looked the while,
8 With eyes than Christ's alone less sad.
9"Mother of God," in pale surprise
10 He whispered, "What am I to paint?"
11A voice that sounded from the skies
12 Said to him: "Raphael, a saint."
13She sat before him in the sun;
14 He scarce could look at her, and she
15Was still and silent. "It is done,"
16 He said. "Oh, call the world to see!"
17Ah, that was she in veriest truth –
18 Transcendent face and haloed hair;
19The beauty of divinest youth,
20 Divinely beautiful, was there.
21Herself into her picture passed –
22 Herself and not her poor disguise
23Made up of time and dust. At last
24 One saw her with the Master's eyes.
Online text copyright © 2004, Ian Lancashire for the Department
of English, University of Toronto.
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services,
University of Toronto Libraries.
Original text: S. M. B. Piatt, "Transfigured," Scribners Monthly 19.2 (Dec. 1879): 195.
RPO poem editor: Ian Lancashire
RP edition: 2004
Recent editing: 1:2004/4/15
Other poems by Sarah Morgan Bryan Piatt