Alfred Edward Housman

(26 March 1859 – 30 April 1936 / Worcestershire)

Loveliest of Trees, the Cherry Now


Loveliest of trees, the cherry now
Is hung with bloom along the bough,
And stands about the woodland ride
Wearing white for Eastertide.

Now, of my threescore years and ten,
Twenty will not come again,
And take from seventy springs a score,
It only leaves me fifty more.

And since to look at things in bloom
Fifty springs are little room,
About the woodlands I will go
To see the cherry hung with snow.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003
Edited: Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Topic of this poem: trees


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Read poems about / on: snow, spring, tree

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Comments about this poem (Loveliest of Trees, the Cherry Now by Alfred Edward Housman )

  • Veteran Poet - 3,405 Points Douglas Scotney (2/15/2015 5:44:00 PM)

    If you come down here,
    a very long ride,
    you'll see it bloom
    at Christmastide. (Report) Reply

  • Gold Star - 10,117 Points Kim Barney (2/15/2015 12:21:00 PM)

    Nobody knows how many springs they have left, except maybe the salesman at the hardware store. My father thought he would go at about age 52, because that's how old his father lived to be. However, he lived to be 86, the same as his mother was when she passed away.
    I like the thought in the last verse, though, to go and enjoy the blossoms at every opportunity. (Report) Reply

  • Veteran Poet - 3,292 Points Pranab K Chakraborty (2/15/2015 11:50:00 AM)

    But what makes me astonished objects are getting somehow abstract by its shape when time by spring is being counting casually to demonstrate the passion of individual living. Even the beautiful imagery of last line becomes much useless to apply. (Report) Reply

  • Freshman - 1,281 Points Sagnik Chakraborty (10/5/2014 2:41:00 AM)

    Like most other poems of Housman, this one is characterized by its exquisite simplicity and beauty. The subtle reminder of the ephemeral nature of life introduces a note of sadness, which makes the poem all the more sweet. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Kathryn Heise (2/2/2007 3:09:00 PM)

    I read this first when I was only twenty. Now at forty, I've only thirty springs left, so I recite this regularly each spring.

    Housman is so simple and sweet, but true. (Report) Reply

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