"Epitaph on a Tyrant," one of W. H. Auden's best-known political poems, appears in the collection Another Time (1940). Written months before the outbreak of World War II, it assesses the career and psychology of a dictator in dry, satirical tones. It portrays the dictator as a skilled manipulator, a ruthless warmonger, and a murderous narcissist who punishes his country when he's in a bad mood. Though it doesn't name a particular leader or setting, it's often read as a comment on the dictators of Auden's era, including Hitler and Mussolini. At the same time, it seems to sum up the nature of tyrants in all times and places.