When I first read this poem, I instantly fell in love with simplicity of this lyrical beauty!
. . . . .
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.
– From Crossways
Selected Poems of W. B. Yeats
[ Yeats said that this very early poem attempted to fill out some lines he remembered an old peasant woman singing in Sligo. His original title was an Old Song Re-sung.He was pleased when it entered popular culture and was treated as an authentic folksong. The inter-play between poetry and popular culture was a feature of Irish life.]
Salley = willow