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God met man in a narrow place,
And they scanned each other face to face.

God spoke first: “What ails you, man,
That you should look so pale and wan?”

Quoth man: “You bade me conquer harm
With no strength but this weak right arm.

“I would ride to war with a glad consent
Were I, as You, omnipotent.”

God said: “You show but little sense;
What triumph is there for omnipotence?”

Said man: “If You think it well to be
Such a thing as I, make trial and see.”

God answered him: “And if I do,
I’ll prove Me a better Man than you.”

God conquered man with His naked hands,
And bound him fast in iron bands.

  • Dorothy L Sayers