The Questioner by William Watson

I asked of heaven and earth and sea,
Saying: “O wondrous trinity,
Deign to make answer unto me,
And tell me truly what ye be.”
And they made answer: “Verily,
The mask before His face are we,
Because ’tis writ no man can see
His face and live;”–so spake the three.
Then I: “O wondrous trinity,
A mask is but a mockery–
Make answer yet again to me
And tell if aught besides are ye.”
And they made answer: “Verily,
The robe around His form are we,
That sick and sore mortality
May touch its hem and healed be.”
Then I: “O wondrous trinity,
Vouchsafe once more to answer me,
And tell me truly, what is He
Whose very mask and raiment ye?”
But they replied: “Of Time are we,
And of Eternity is He.
Wait thou, and ask Eternity;
Belike his mouth shall answer thee.”

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