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Auden, W. H.: Epitaph für einen Tyrannen (Epitaph on a Tyrant in German)

Portre of Auden, W. H.

Epitaph on a Tyrant (English)

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.

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Epitaph für einen Tyrannen (German)

Perfektion von besonderer Art, das war seine Sache,
Und die Dichtung, die er verfasste, nicht misszuverstehn;
Flotten galt sein Interesse und großen Armeen,
Menschliche Narrheiten waren sein tägliches Brot;
Respektable Senatoren brachen in Lachen aus, wenn er lachte,
Und wenn er weinte, brachte es Kindern den Tod.

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Source of the quotation