Wednesday, April 14, 2010

"Loveliest of Trees" by Alfred Edward Housman

Loveliest of Trees
by Alfred Edward Housman

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.

Threescore years and ten is seventy years, the lifespan of the time.


  1. I fell into your blog, and can't quite recall how, but hello. I too love Houseman's poems, but - and I hate to be pernickety - three-score-years-and-ten is actually 70. A score (20) x 3 = 60 plus 10 = 70. The climate has shifted since this poem was written, for unless Easter is very late, it is past before the cherry blooms; wild cherry (as this would have been) very late in April.

  2. Thanks for the correction, I'll fix that ASAP! :)
    I'm guessing that Eastertide counts the fifty days after Easter (since Easter doesn't officially end until Pentecost). Would that be enough time for the blossoms? I don't know much about flowers.