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Bon mots laced with fire

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There's magic to be done in private space
And spells that work in public, open rites
Occulting arcane power 'neath a face
That lies of honesty and rarely bites.
Or then again there are the sorts of charms
Performed by sharpened words and harsher wit
Whose sole and solemn purpose is not harm
But rather, to protect the soul a bit,
Deflecting those that seek to know one's heart
With candor cloaked in bon mots laced with fire:
"This is the truth you get," in terms so tart
That fainter wills will falter at their ire.
Who wields the greatest art? The one that knows
That strength is more than what one must disclose.