Below, you’ll find the full poem ‘After’ by Philip Bourke Marston.

 

‘After’ 

A LITTLE time for laughter,

— A little time to sing,

— A little time to kiss and cling,

And no more kissing after.

 

A little while for scheming

— Love’s unperfected schemes;

— A little time for golden dreams,

Then no more any dreaming.

 

A little while ’twas given

— To me to have thy love;

— Now, like a ghost, alone I move

About a ruined heaven.

 

A little time for speaking

— Things sweet to say and hear;

— A time to seek, and find thee near,

Then no more any seeking.

 

A little time for saying

— Words the heart breaks to say;

— A short sharp time wherein to pray,

Then no more need of praying;

 

But long, long years to weep in,

— And comprehend the whole

— Great grief that desolates the soul,

And eternity to sleep in.

Philip Bourke Marston 

 

Thanks for reading! If you’re studying this particular poem, you can buy our detailed study guide here. This includes:

  • Vocabulary
  • Story + Summary
  • Speaker + Voice
  • Language Feature Analysis
  • Form and Structure Analysis
  • Context
  • Attitudes + Messages
  • Themes + Deeper Ideas
  • Key Quotations
  • Extra tasks to complete by yourself

You can find the complete Cambridge IGCSE Poetry course (2022-2025) by clicking here.
For a limited time, our Cambridge IGCSE Poetry course is 15% off; just use the code ‘CAMBRIDGE‘ at checkout!
For all our English Literature and Language courses, click here.