By A.E. 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.
From A.E. Housman's A Shropshire Lad.
Set in a semi-imaginary pastoral Shropshire, Housman’s verse considers the helplessness of man and the fragility of life, against the background of an achingly beautiful countryside.
Read a few more of our favourite poems about Spring, from John Clare to Billy Collins.
Need more poetry in your life? Sign up to the Picador Friday poem email to receive a handpicked poem straight to your inbox each week.