711 – 720: Judging the Audience

The pure in thought and eloquence 711
Adapt their words to audience.
Who know the art of speech shall suit 712
Their chosen words to time in fact.
They speak in vain at length who talk 713
Words unversed which ears don’t take.
Before the bright be brilliant light 714
Before the muff be mortar white.
Modest restraint all good excels 715
Which argues not before elders.
Tongue-slip before the talented wise 716
Is like slipping from righteous ways.
The learning of the learned shines 717
Valued by flawless scholar-minds.
To address understanding ones 718
Is to water beds of growing grains.
O ye who speak before the keen 719
Forgetful, address not the mean.
To hostiles who wise words utters 720
Pours ambrosia into gutters.

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