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LOVELIEST OF TREES
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.

Illustration: “Cherry Blossoms,” watercolor by Hailey E. Herrera, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Alfred Edward Housman (1859–1936), an English classical scholar and poet, has been ranked as one of the greatest scholars who ever lived, and was appointed Professor of Latin at University College London and then at Cambridge. Housman published two volumes of poetry during his life: A Shropshire Lad (1896) and Last Poems (1922). After A Shropshire Lad was turned down by several publishers, Housman published it at his own expense. Several composers created musical settings for Housman’s work, deepening his popularity. When Last Poems was published in 1922, it was an immediate success. A third volume, More Poems, was released posthumously in 1936, as was an edition of Housman’s Complete Poems (1939). Despite acclaim as a scholar and a poet in his lifetime, Housman lived as a recluse, rejecting honors and avoiding the public eye.