Page:Poems by Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell (Charlotte, Emily and Anne Brontë, 1846).djvu/13

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3
PILATE'S WIFE'S DREAM.


While Romans watch; and when the dawn shall shine
Pilate, to judge the victim will appear,
Pass sentence—­yield him up to crucify;
And on that cross the spotless Christ must die.


Dreams, then, are true—­for thus my vision ran;
Surely some oracle has been with me,
The gods have chosen me to reveal their plan,
To warn an unjust judge of destiny:
I, slumbering, heard and saw; awake I know,
Christ's coming death, and Pilate's life of woe.


I do not weep for Pilate—­who could prove
Regret for him whose cold and crushing sway
No prayer can soften, no appeal can move;
Who tramples hearts as others trample clay,
Yet with a faltering, an uncertain tread,
That might stir up reprisal in the dead.


Forced to sit by his side and see his deeds;
Forced to behold that visage, hour by hour,
In whose gaunt lines, the abhorrent gazer reads
A triple lust of gold, and blood, and power;
A soul whom motives, fierce, yet abject, urge
Rome's servile slave, and Judah's tyrant scourge.


How can I love, or mourn, or pity him?
I, who so long my fettered hands have wrung;