"Thrusting forward his powerful jaw and glaring ahead, Hitler began a speech in deadly restraint, but soon shouted in fury and sobbed in passion, raising tornadoes of applause." From a cabled report of Herr Hitler's Munich speech.
Well, I don't know. Maybe it's quite all right, And maybe it is I who am perverse, Finding in this unedifying sight Mere mummery, and hearing but a blight Of words and frowsty fustian -- or worse Maybe I'm wrong; and homo sapiens yet, Among the sentient, stays wise Nature's pet. First the exordium, restrained and grim, Stirring emotions, spreading subtle spells; And then the swelling voice, the waving limb, The flashing eye, the pep, the yells, the vim The crashing peroration -- and hell's bells! ... Old stuff, so I was once led to suppose Archaic stuff, and yet it goes, it goes. Once Epictetus or -- well, shall we say Marcus Aurelius stirred in me a hope, As reason grew and error fell away, Giants might rise to lead us in our day Out of this darkened maze in which men grope. But now I know the man who gets that job Is he who can spellbind the muddied mob. But life's a paradox -- Mayhap I'm wrong In seeking guidance from the enlightened wise Looking for leaders in the sanely strong To spread sweet reason 'mid the puzzled throng -- A paradox all men must recognise; And it may be our world shall yet give thanks, And owe salvation to its mountebanks.
|Copyright © Perry Middlemiss 2005|