Poems by Wystan Hugh Auden

Poet, born thursday february 21, 1907 in York (United Kingdom), died saturday september 29, 1973 in Vienna (Austria)
You can find this author also in Quotes & Aphorisms.

They never forgot
that even the most dreadful martyrdom must run its course
anyhow in a corner, some untidy spot
where the dogs go on with their doggy life and the torturer's horse
scratches its innocent behind on a tree.
Wystan Hugh Auden
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    The thin-lipped armorer,
    Hephaestos, hobbled away,
    Thetis of the shining breasts
    Cried out in dismay
    At what the God had wrought
    To please her son, the strong
    Iron-hearted man-slaying Achilles
    Who would not live long.
    Wystan Hugh Auden
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      The mass and majesty of this world, all
      That carries weight and always weighs the same
      Lay in the hands of others; they were small
      And could not hope for help and no help came:
      What their foes like to do was done, their shame
      Was all the worst could wish; they lost their pride
      And died as men before their bodies died.
      Wystan Hugh Auden
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        September 1,1939

        Defenceless under the night
        Our world in stupor lies;
        Yet, dotted everywhere,
        Ironic points of light
        Flash out wherever the Just
        Exchange their messages:
        May I, composed like them
        Of Eros and of dust,
        Beleaguered by the same
        Negation and despair,
        Show an affirming flame.
        Wystan Hugh Auden
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          The stars are not wanted now; put out every one,
          Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun,
          Pour away the ocean and sweep up the woods;
          For nothing now can ever come to any good.
          Wystan Hugh Auden
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            And the poor in their fireless lodgings, dropping the sheets
            Of the evening paper: "Our day is our loss, o show us
            History the operator, the
            Organiser, Time the refreshing river."
            And the nations combine each cry, invoking the life
            That shapes the individual belly and orders
            The private nocturnal terror:
            "Did you not found the city state of the sponge,

            Raise the vast military empires of the shark
            And the tiger, establish the robin' s plucky canton?
            Intervene. Descend as a dove or
            a furious papa or a mild engineer, but descend.
            Wystan Hugh Auden
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