Sonnet. (Exodus xxxiii. 18-23.)

A poem by George MacDonald

"I do beseech Thee, God, show me thy face."
"Come up to me in Sinai on the morn:
Thou shalt behold as much as may be borne."
And Moses on a rock stood lone in space.
From Sinai's top, the vaporous, thunderous place,
God passed in clouds, an earthly garment worn
To hide, and thus reveal. In love, not scorn,
He put him in a cleft in the rock's base,
Covered him with his hand, his eyes to screen,
Then passed, and showed his back through mists of years.
Ah, Moses! had He turned, and hadst thou seen
The pale face crowned with thorns, baptized with tears,
The eyes of the true man, by men belied,
Thou hadst beheld God's face, and straightway died.

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