After (Elgar)

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After by Elgar song cover 1900.jpg

”After” is a song written by the English composer Edward Elgar in 1895, as his Op.31, No.1, with the words from a poem by Philip Bourke Marston.[1][2]

The manuscript is dated 21 June 1895.[1][2]

The song was first performed by the Irish baritone Harry Plunket Greene in St. James's Hall on 2 March 1900, together with A Song of Flight, Op. 31, No.2.[1]



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 for praying;
But long, long years to weep in,
And comprehend the whole
Great grief, that desolates the soul,
And eternity to sleep in.



  1. ^ a b c Kennedy, Michael (1987). Portrait of Elgar (Third ed.). Oxford University Press. p. 342. ISBN 0-19-284017-7. 
  2. ^ a b Moore, Jerrold Northrop (1984). Edward Elgar: A Creative Life. Oxford University Press. p. 190. ISBN 0-19-315447-1. 
  • Banfield, Stephen, Sensibility and English Song: Critical studies of the early 20th century (Cambridge University Press, 1985) ISBN 0-521-37944-X