The poem “Loveliest of the trees the cherry now” has been written by A.E Housman. He was one of the greatest English poets and scholars. His full name is Alfred Edward Housman. He was born in March 1859 in England and died in April 1936 in Cambridge. He was appointed as a scholar of Latin at University College London because of his quality work. He composed a cycle of 63 poems. This cycle or collection of poems is named “A Shropshire Lad“.
Usually, we find a pessimistic element in his poetry. And this pessimistic element comes from the death of his mother on his 12th birthday. He was so much attached to his mother. So, the death of his mother was a cruel blow for him. A.E Housman’s poems have the themes of unrequited love, fleeting youth, pastoral beauty, grief, death, and patriotism of common soldier.
About the Poem:
The poem “Loveliest of the trees the cherry now” was published in 1896. This poem is marked by beauty and regret. It is one of the 63 poems which were being composed under the title “A Shropshire Lad“.
This poem consists of 3 stanzas. Each stanza consists of 4 lines. The poem is written in simple, unique, and easy language. It is composed so beautifully that readers read it again and again. The poem describes the unparalleled beauty of cherry trees which leaves him in wonder. Poet wants to enjoy this beautiful sight as long as he can. This cherry tree attracts him so much that he calls it ” the loveliest of all the trees” as the title suggests.
Loveliest of trees, the cherry now
Is hung with bloom along the bough,
And stands about the woodland ride
Wearing white for Easter-tide.
In the very first stanza, the poet describes the charm and beauty of the cherry tree. Poet says that the loveliest of all the trees is the cherry tree. the cherry tree attracts the poet so much that he calls it the most beautiful tree of the natural world. The tree is at its full bloom and it is loaded with flowers. this tree is standing on the pathway which goes to the forest.
The cherry tree is of white color because it is covered with snow. because of its white color, it seems that if it was wearing a white dress for Easter. Easter is a festival of Christians this is celebrated every year recalling the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
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.
In this stanza, the poet talks about the age limit of a person that is suggested by Christianity. According to Christianity, the average life of a person is seventy years. Poet says that of my threescore and ten, twenty will never come back. one score is equal to twenty years. so, three scores are equal to sixty years and ten more years add to make it seventy years.
Poet is twenty years old when he saw the beautiful sight of the cherry trees. Poet says that out of seventy years of my life, twenty years which have gone will never come back. He says that I have seen twenty springs of my life, I am left only with fifty more years which are not enough to see the beautiful sight of cherry tree which is loaded with snow.
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.
Poet is so fascinated by the beautiful sight of the cherry tree that he wants to see it again and again. And he considers fifty years (he is left with) too little and short to enjoy the beauty of this loveliest tree. Poet says that I will go to woodlands, again and again, to see the beautiful cherry tree for as long as he can. In short, we can say that he prefers cherry trees over all the other beautiful natural sights.