The speaker of "Afterwards" is an older man – someone who feels that his own death is near at hand. Makes sense – after all, Hardy wrote it when he was 77 years old. Hardy has a reputation for being dark and melancholy, but even though this is a poem about death, it's surprisingly un-depressing. The tone of the poem is more wistful than bitter: the speaker wants to be remembered, but is afraid that he'll be forgotten entirely. More specifically, he wants to be remembered as someone sensitive to the subtle beauties in nature.