(Pilate to himself)
A raging mob? I'd rather face the beasts –
At least a lion killer has a sword;
But this is rabble maddened by the priests,
Held at bay by nothing but my word
Stink of breath, of rage, of something worse,
A shifting of the atmosphere, a storm
Of jealousy, a diabolic curse:
Malevolence, the stinging of the swarm
And I'm the center of it, prefect, judge
And here's a perfect innocence I see —
One of us is sitting in a cage,
But who's the prisoner, this man or me?
Now a tide of hatred like a wave —
Kill the Christ, they shout, Barabbas save
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