Verse > Anthologies > W. Garrett Horder, ed. > The Poets’ Bible: New Testament
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W. Garrett Horder, comp.  The Poets’ Bible: New Testament.  1895.
 
The Dream of Pilate’s Wife
Matthew Bridges (1800–1894)
 
OH, touch not thou that holy Head—
  The wife of Pilate cried—
Full is my heart with fear and dread
  As though a Friend had died,
Or was about to die, instead        5
  Of some one else beside:
Spare thou that Just One; let Him go
The whispering Spirits tell me so.
 
Mysterious Dream: I saw a Fire
  All boundless in its blaze,        10
Raging in red omnivorous ire,
  And scorching in its rays:
It licked the Heavens with many a spire,
  Nor could I bear to gaze:
The clouds together seemed to roll        15
And wither, like a parchment scroll.
 
Hosts upon hosts essayed in vain
  The ruthless flames to quell:
Each mountain, city, tower and plain
  Subsided in the Hell:        20
Ten thousand sounds of woe and pain
  Blended into a yell,
Such as hath struck no mortal ear
But mine—in this last night of fear.
 
The rocks were rent: the welkin rang;        25
  When lo! as from a Throne,
While Souls in secret sorrow sang,
  A Lamb came forth alone:
Its look was Love: It hushed the clang
  Of Earth’s tremendous groan;        30
Then mounting on the awful Pyre,
Pierced Its own Heart, and quenched the Fire.
 
And as It died, Its closing Eyes
  With tears most piteous ran:
Its Face beneath the frowning skies        35
  Waxed wonderfully wan;
Then changed—and in amazing guise
  An aspect wore of Man,
A Man Divine, and more than fair,
Too like the mystic Prisoner there.        40
 
 
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