What is Truth? said those of old,
Who, oft warned by Israel's God,
Whose daring deeds, then all untold,
Brought down on them the Avenger's rod.
What is Truth? was asked by one
Whom Israel had been taught to fear,
Whilst, with scorn, he looked upon
The very truth that was so near.
What is Truth? said Pilate, when
The truth had reached his inmost heart
Washing clean his hands again,
In murder, said he'd have no part.
What is Truth? the sland'rer says—
Is it to blast my neighbours' name;
Them defaming all my days—
Acting as though I had no shame?
What is Truth? the tyrant said,
Whilst he enslav'd his fellow-man:
Now my will shall be obey'd,
For who my right will dare to scan?
What is Truth? the miser says,
While counting o'er his ill-got gain:
What care I for her good ways,
So I the 'yellow dross' obtain.
What is Truth? the sceptic says,
While doubt and fears annoy his path:
Shall I heed her peaceful ways,
Or meet at last indignant wrath?
What is Truth? the Christian cries,
Publishing a Saviour's love,
While from earth to heaven he hies—
To the starry realms above.
What is Truth? I may not tell—
What is 'the Truth' shall be made known;
What is Truth, remember well,
Is firm as God's eternal throne!