A Shropshire Lad
ASL II “Loveliest of trees”
|The main branch of a tree
|A path broad enough to ride a horse along, usually through a wood
|The religious season of Easter
|Sixty (a score being twenty)
|along the bough] under the bough,
|about the woodland ride]
i) along the woodlands wide
|Now, of my] And since, of
|And since my days, the days of men, | Are but
threescore years and ten,
|i) And yet of all the springs in store
ii) And so of all the springs in store | I shall see but fifty more
|What is it about the cherry tree in particular
that makes it “Loveliest” in the opinion of the speaker of the poem?
|Why is it important that the tree stands “about
the woodland ride“, rather than
just in woodland?
|White is the liturgical colour
for Easter and would be worn by the clergy in services. With what else is the colour
|Consider the earlier draft form of the second
stanza and the beginning of the third:And since my days, the days of men,
Are but threescore years and ten,
And so of all the springs in store
And since to look at things you love
In what ways do you think the final version is
|The voice of the poem, aged twenty, is concerned
that he may only have another fifty years of life. What does this suggest to
you about the character of the persona that Housman has created?
|Why do you think Housman uses the particular word
“springs” to refer to years?
|While it is not unknown for there to be snow at
Easter in England,
it would certainly be unusual. If we are to understand the “snow” of the
final line to refer to the cherry blossom, why do you think Housman has
chosen this particular metaphor to describe it?