Page:Poems by Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell (Charlotte, Emily and Anne Brontë, 1846).djvu/14

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4
PILATE'S WIFE'S DREAM.


I, who for grief have wept my eye-sight dim;
Because, while life for me was bright and young,
He robbed my youth—­he quenched my life's fair ray—
He crushed my mind, and did my freedom slay.


And at this hour—­although I be his wife—
He has no more of tenderness from me
Than any other wretch of guilty life;
Less, for I know his household privacy—
I see him as he is—­without a screen;
And, by the gods, my soul abhors his mien!


Has he not sought my presence, dyed in blood—
Innocent, righteous blood, shed shamelessly?
And have I not his red salute withstood?
Aye,—­when, as erst, he plunged all Galilee
In dark bereavement—­in affliction sore,
Mingling their very offerings with their gore.


Then came he—­in his eyes a serpent-smile,
Upon his lips some false, endearing word,
And, through the streets of Salem, clanged the while,
His slaughtering, hacking, sacrilegious sword—
And I, to see a man cause men such woe,
Trembled with ire—­I did not fear to show.


And now, the envious Jewish priests have brought
Jesus—­whom they in mockery call their king—