Strangely thy whispered message ran,
Almost in form behest!
Why came in dreams the low-born man
To part thee from thy rest?
It may be that some spirit fair,
Who knew not what must be,
Fled in the anguish of his care
For help for him to thee.
But rather would I think thee great;
That rumours upward went,
And pierced the palisades of state
In which thy rank was pent;
And that a Roman matron thou,
Too noble for thy spouse,
The far-heard grandeur must allow,
And sit with pondering brows.
And so thy maidens’ gathered tale
For thee with wonder teems;
Thou sleepest, and the prisoner pale
Returneth in thy dreams.
And thou hast suffered for his sake
Sad visions all the night:
One day thou wilt, then first awake,
Rejoice in his dear light.