Down by the Salley Gardens
by W. B. Yeats
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.
This is the first poem by Yeats that I remember reading. It’s probably my favorite boy-meets-girl-loses-same poem. It’s definitely among my favorite poems to recite. It’s reliably lyrical and never grows tired.