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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

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,

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

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:

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;

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;

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

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.