Perfection of a kind was what he was after,I have simply transposed the verbs in the last line -
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.
And when he died the little children cried in the streets.
to make it utterly meaningless, or at least completely different.
I read too fast, with too little attention, driven by an urge to have read rather than a desire to read; but even for me, this is spectacular.