Here lies at last the master of nonentity
– the creature of smart lawyers and the Press,
t elevision’s odd misshapen darling,
feeder of chooks and scatterer of largesse…
Here is the battered image of our weakness,
our sad confusion rigged out in a suit,
who never made an error (by his reckoning),
a Christian pointing backwards to the brute,
a strong man whose sole strength was contradiction,
a moral Lilliputian in the House
whom colleagues sneered at safely from around corners,
fed by invective as blood feeds a louse.
The nation’s standing joke, for much forgiven
– a “character”, we said, a looney-tune
uniquely representative of our statehood,
a spent Messiah from the planet Dune.
Here let him lie, who lied to all and sundry,
the last worst hope of many midget men
– let it be said (as it was of better fictions)
that we shall not (please God) see his like again.