What Riddle Asked the Sphinx: To the Memory of André Gide

IN my stone eyes I see
The saint upon his knee
Dig in the desert for eternity.
In my stone ears I hear
The night-lost traveller
Cry When? to the earth’s shadow: When? O where?
Stone deaf and blind
I ponder in my mind
The bone that seeks, the flesh that cannot find.
Stone blind I see
The saint’s eternity
Deep in the earth he digs in. Cannot he?
Stone deaf I hear
The night say Then! say There!
Why cries that traveller still to the night air?
The one is not content
With silence, the day spent;
With earth the other. More, they think, was meant.
Stone that I am, can stone
Perceive what flesh and bone
Are blind and deaf to?
Or has hermit known,
Has traveller divined,
Some question there behind
I cannot come to, being stone and blind ?
To all who ken or can
I ask, since time began,
What riddle is it has for answer, Man?