At nightfall

At nightfall - At nightfall Paul clutches a dew-sprinkled...

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Unformatted text preview: At nightfall, Paul clutches a dew-sprinkled gun and walks sentry duty in a cathedral courtyard under cover of mist. After the day's battle, he has difficulty recovering his composure. He allows his mind and emotions to focus on the poplar avenue, which evokes nostalgic memories of home, of innocent play: "We loved them dearly [the trees], and the image of those days still makes my heart pause in its beating." Overcome with melancholy, he longs to immerse himself in the serenity of nature, but concludes, "[W]e fear and love without hope." As the war drags on, Paul loses his sense of time. He and the others attempt to retrieve the wounded, one of whom pleads for rescue but lies hidden from the search party. The offer of a reward for finding him fails. In searching, Albert is slightly wounded. The dying man calls faintly for a woman named Elise, then lapses into weeping. Against a backdrop of fleecy clouds, fresh winds, and blue named Elise, then lapses into weeping....
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