Home > Uncategorized > Alfred Noyes: Medicine driven back in defeat by the nightmare chaos of war

Alfred Noyes: Medicine driven back in defeat by the nightmare chaos of war

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Anti-war essays, poems, short stories and literary excerpts

British writers on peace and war

Alfred Noyes: Selections on war

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Alfred Noyes
The Torch-Bearers
The Last Voyage

Delayed by folly, baffled and beaten again
By lethargy, in man’s own sleep-walking world,
Driven back in defeat by the nightmare chaos of war
But finding new light, even there, on that blood-red road;
The struggle went on; each age with a broken cry,
Ars longa, vita brevis, re-echoing still
The cry of Hippocrates, Galen and Harvey in turn,
But flinging the deathless fire with a dying hand
To youth that should follow and conquer….

“We grieve when we look on an exquisite tapestry torn,
A picture disfigured, a Parian masterpiece wrecked,
A desecrate shrine; yet – yet – with our wars and our sins
What havoc we make of God’s image….”

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