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A poem by Frances Ridley Havergal


Title:     Afterwards
Author: Frances Ridley Havergal [More Titles by Havergal]

THERE is no "afterward" on earth for me!'
Beloved, 't is not so!
That God's own 'afterwards' are pledged to thee.
Thy life shall show.

No 'afterward' indeed of great things wrought,
By willing hands and feet;
No sheaf is thine, from wider harvests brought,
With singing sweet.

Fair flowing years of ease and laughing strength,
With cloudless morning skies,
Sweet life renewed, and active work at length,
His love denies.

But living fruit of righteousness to Him
His chastening shall yield,
And constant 'afterwards,' no longer dim,
Shall be revealed.

Is it no 'afterward' that in thy heart
His love is shed abroad?
And that His Spirit breathes, while called apart,
The peace of God?

That joy in tribulation shall spring forth
To greet His visits blessed,
Whose wisdom wakes the south wind or the north,
As He sees best!

Shall not longsuffering in thee be wrought,
To mirror back His own?
His gentleness shall mellow every thought,
And look, and tone.

And goodness! In thyself dwells no good thing,
Yet from thy glorious Root
An 'afterward' of holiness shall spring
Most precious fruit!

The trial of thy faith from hour to hour
Shall yield a grand increase;
He shall fulfil the work of faith with power
That cannot cease.

And all around shall praise Him as they see
The meekness of thy Lord.
Thus, even here and now, how blest shall be
Thy sure reward!

This pleasant fruit it shall be thine to lay
At thy Beloved's feet,
The ripening clusters growing day by day
More full and sweet

If at His gate He keeps thee waiting now
Through many a suffering year,
Watch for His daily 'afterwards,' and thou
Shalt find them here:

Till, as refined gold, in thee shall shine
His image, no more dim;
Then shall the endless 'afterward' be thine
Of rest with Him.

[The end]
Frances Ridley Havergal's poem: Afterwards