John McCrae

The Night Cometh

Lieutenant Colonel John Alexander McCrae, MD was a Canadian poet, physician, author, artist and soldier during World War I, and a surgeon during the Second Battle of Ypres, in Belgium.

Cometh the night. The wind falls low,
The trees swing slowly to and fro:
 Around the church the headstones grey
 Cluster, like children strayed away
But found again, and folded so.

No chiding look doth she bestow:
If she is glad, they cannot know;
 If ill or well they spend their day,
  Cometh the night.

Singing or sad, intent they go;
They do not see the shadows grow;
 "There yet is time," they lightly say,
 "Before our work aside we lay";
Their task is but half-done, and lo!
  Cometh the night.