It was not sleep that bound my sight
Upon that well remembered night;
It was not fancy’s fitful power
Beguiled me in that solemn hour.
But o’er the vision of my soul
The mystic future seemed to roll;
And in the deep, prophetic trance,
Revealed its treasures to my glance.
Before my wondering eyes there stood
A vast, a countless multitude;
The hoary sire, the prattling child,
The mother, and the maiden mild,
The gladsome youth, and man of care—
All tribes, all ages, mingled there;
And all, where’er I turned to see,
In humble silence bent the knee.
Still o’er the crowded scene I gazed;
Against the lurid eastern sky
I saw the shameful cross upraised,
I saw the sufferer doomed to die.
’Twas He whom late with sorrowing mien,
In Zion’s streets I oft had seen;
And now in blood and agony,
He turned a dying look to me.
Then softly from that gathering throng
Arose the sound of solemn song;
And while I caught the swelling lay,
The myriad voices seemed to say—
And we believe in Him that died,
By Pontius Pilate crucified—
That He shall come, when time is fled,
To judge the living and the dead.
I woke; thou wast not by my side,
I heard a loud exulting cry;
I heard the scornful priests deride,
The elders murmur,
O Pilate! hadst thou marked my prayer,
That guiltless blood to shield and spare,
That deed of horror would not be
A stain to thine—a curse to thee!
Our scenes of early love are past;
Our youthful spring is withered all;
Afar from Rome our lot is cast,
Beneath the sunny skies of Gaul;
The thoughts that memory treasures yet
Of other days, begin to flee;
But never shall my heart forget
The Crucified of Galilee!