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Alfred H. Miles, ed. The Sacred Poets of the Nineteenth Century. 1907.

By Poems. III. Now and Afterward

Frances Ridley Havergal (1836–1879)

NOW, the sowing and the weeping,

Working hard and waiting long;

Afterward, the golden reaping,

Harvest home and grateful song.

Now, the pruning, sharp, unsparing;

Scattered blossom, bleeding shoot!

Afterward, the plenteous bearing

Of the Master’s pleasant fruit.

Now, the plunge, the briny burden,

Blind, faint gropings in the sea;

Afterward, the pearly guerdon

That shall make the diver free.

Now, the long and toilsome duty

Stone by stone to carve and bring;

Afterward, the perfect beauty

Of the palace of the King.

Now, the tuning and the tension,

Wailing minors, discord strong;

Afterward, the grand ascension

Of the Alleluia song.

Now, the spirit conflict-riven,

Wounded heart, unequal strife;

Afterward, the triumph given,

And the victor’s crown of life.

Now, the training, strange and lowly,

Unexplained and tedious now;

Afterward, the service holy,

And the Master’s “Enter thou!”