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“Epitaph on a Tyrant”

Robert A. Buhler’s W. H. Auden (1907-1973)

Robert A. Buhler’s W. H. Auden (1907-1973)

The above painting hangs at Oxford’s Christ Church College, where Poet W. H. Auden attended college. The following poem is a short one, but eloquent. It is called “Epitaph on a Tyrant”:

Perfection, of a kind, was what he was after,
And the poetry he invented was easy to understand;
He knew human folly like the back of his hand,
And was greatly interested in armies and fleets;
When he laughed, respectable senators burst with laughter,
And when he cried the little children died in the streets.