Down by the Salley Gardens

I remember my first term in senior high school. My Literature-in-English teacher walked into the class for the first time and wrote this poem on the board. I fell in love with it. I often find myself reciting it in my mind.

Down By The Salley Gardens (W. B. Yeats)

Down by the salley gardens my love and I did meet;
She passed the salley gardens with little snow-white
She bid me take love easy, as the leaves grow on the tree;
But I, being young and foolish, with her would not
In a field by the river my love and I did stand,
And on my leaning shoulder she laid her snow-white
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.


I felt so sad for the poor lover in the poem. People had varying interpretations of the poem. As for me the meaning that I associated with the poem is this: The protagonist had just fallen in love for the first time and was blinded in his love. His lady love at the time told him that love was not so fancy as told in the ballads and that love was not so perfect.  “Dude, take your time,” His lady love warned him.” Don’t rush in love. Love will not give you everything. “At the end, he finally realized that she was right but he had already got a broken heart.


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