Down By the Sally Gardens
by William Butler Yeats (1865-1939)
This has been set to music and often recorded. Here, for example, is John McCormack’s rendition. And Clannad‘s. And Alfred Deller‘s. And, finally, Richard Dyer-Bennet‘s.
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.
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.