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The English poet, Mr. Alfred Noyes, gave a reading and short address in Sanders Theatre last evening. He prefaced his address with three poems. The first, "The Admiral's Ghost," was a patriotic legend of Devonshire, extolling the spirit of Drake and Nelson; the second, "The Barrel Organ," was replete with the poetry of the city; the third was in deprecation of the extreme scientific spirit.
"Grinding the Bones of Men."
Not much less poetic was Mr. Noyes's appeal for disarmament and the "realm of peace and love and justice." In stirring phrases he denounced the vicious circle of logic by which the nations defend gigantic navies and armies. "We must strengthen our armaments because others are strengthening theirs" is the argument. European parliaments know that it must stop, and yet they cannot escape from the "vicious treadmill that they have set going" which is "grinding the bones of men." Armament and the taxation it requires weaken Europe like "a great financial vampire sucking the blood of nations."
War is no longer what it was "when Godfrey lead the foremost of the Franks" or when "an Englishman would rather split his ship and fall into the hands of God than into the hands of Spain." Fighting now is done with great soulless machines. There is no hope or purpose or meaning in it. "War has lost the vitality that it once had; it is a dead thing, a peril to the social body."
In conclusion Mr. Noyes read three more poems, "The Highwayman" a romantic ballad, "The Forty Singing Seamen" a farciful narrative of much humor, and a poetic presentation of "The Creation."
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