Simon, my grandfather, born in ’72,
Told me the tale of how, as a young boy
He stood in Bradford City Hall and saw
The high-winged collar Gladstone wore wilt low.
The great man spoke for hours. The sweat poured down.
Nothing he said could Granddad quite recall.
Tonight, in ’96, I pass this on
To my own grandson. But I cannot tell
Whether, a hundred years from now, his own
Grandson will tell this thing that once was said
About the sweating high-winged orator, one
Who spoke across two centuries, unheard.