The Captive's Dream
Methought I saw him but I knew him not;
He was so changed from what he used to be,
There was no redness on his woe-worn cheek,
No sunny smile upon his ashy lips,
His hollow wandering eyes looked wild and fierce,
And grief was printed on his marble brow,
And O I thought he clasped his wasted hands,
And raised his haggard eyes to Heaven, and prayed
That he might die - I had no power to speak,
I thought I was allowed to see him thus;
And yet I might not speak one single word;
I might not even tell him that I lived
And that it might be possible if search were made,
To find out where I was and set me free,
O how I longed to clasp him to my heart,
Or but to hold his trembling hand in mine,
And speak one word of comfort to his mind,
I struggled wildly but it was in vain,
I could not rise from my dark dungeon floor,
And the dear name I vainly strove to speak,
Died in a voiceless whisper on my tongue,
Then I awoke, and lo it was a dream!
A dream? Alas it was reality!
For well I know wherever he may be
He mourns me thus - O heaven I could bear
My deadly fate with calmness if there were
No kindred hearts to bleed and break for me!
This work was published before January 1, 1923, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.