Down by the Salley Gardens from The Wanderings of Oisin & Other Poems, 1889
By W.B Yeats (1865-1939)
‘Down by the salley gardens my love and I did meet;
She passed the salley gardens with little snow white feet.
She bid me take love easy, as the leaves grow on the tree;
But I, being young and foolish, with her would not agree.’
Q. What is a salley?
Ans. A sallow tree, closely related to a Irish saileach: a willow tree.
Q. What happened next Mr Yeats?
‘In a field by the river my love and I did stand,
And on my leaning shoulder she laid her snow white hand.
She bid me take life easy, as the grass grows on the weirs;
But I was young and foolish, and now am full of tears.’
Ans. You should have listened to her! But don’t cry, try to woo her back, read her wonderful poems, under a salley tree, walk in fields, don’t make life complicated…cry tears of happiness at finding (in this huge, wide world) someone to call my love. This is time well spent.