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.
A. E. Housman, A Shropshire Lad. 1896
Our lovely old specimen of Prunus serrulata is looking beautiful and I was reminded of that famous Housman poem. Although Housmen is very much associated with the First World War, A Shropshire Lad was actually written quite some time before.
In the late 19th Century the biblical “three score years and ten” was above average life expectancy. Today I’m sure I saw more who were of four score years enjoying the blossom than those of just a score.