Poet Alfred Edward Housman, known as A.E. Housman, wrote "Loveliest of Trees." The poem appeared as the second poem in "A Shropshire Lad," a collection of 63 of Housman's poems published in 1896.
Wikipedia states that "A Shropshire Lad, " which included poems about young men's early deaths and rural life, became a best-seller. Accordingly, a reader notices the theme of mortality in "Loveliest of Trees." The speaker remarks upon the length of his own life (at twenty years old, he estimates he has fifty years left) and pledges to appreciate the natural world fully in those fifty remaining years. As the poem ends, the speaker decides to head outside immediately and appreciate the cherry trees even as they are covered with snow, rather than waiting for spring.