Public oratory
Is not, I think, for me.
To stand upon a box
And utter to the vox
Populi words of ass-
-ertion which could be crass,
Are never, for myself
Statements of verbal wealth.

The moving finger writes,
And for all its frail might -
- Ephemerality -
Carry some piety,
Which, speaking candidly,
Lacking verbosity,
Trades in so much hot air,
To make truth disappear.

But the great orator,
Waxing lyrical or
Raising the passionate
Mob into maddened hate,
Lynches some poor beggar
Who ne’er posed a danger
But whose unhappy face
Happened in the wrong place.

North Devon, September 2018
[after Exeter's 'Save the Badger' march]