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W. Garrett Horder, comp. The Poets’ Bible: New Testament. 1895.

Pilate’s Wife

George MacDonald (1824–1905)

WHY came in dreams the low-born man,

Between thee and thy rest;

For vain thy whispered message ran,

Though justice was thy quest?

Did some young ignorant angel dare—

Not knowing what must be,

Or blind with agony of care—

To fly for help to thee?

It may be. Rather I believe,

Thou, nobler than thy spouse,

The rumoured grandeur did’st receive,

And sit with pondering brows,

Until thy maidens’ gathered tale

With possible marvel teems:

Thou sleepest, and the prisoner pale

Returneth in thy dreams.

Well mightst thou suffer things not few

For his sake all the night!

In pale eclipse he suffers, who

Is of the world the light.

Precious it were to know thy dream

Of such a one as he!

Perhaps of him we, waking, deem

As poor a verity.