April 26: W. B. Yeats's "Down by the Salley Gardens"

From the newly published Irish Poems, a love song by Yeats, based on an old ballad. (Don’t miss the video link below: Irish author Maeve Binchy picked one of her favorites in the collection, Seamus Heaney’s “Mid-term Break,” to read aloud.)

Down by the Salley Gardens

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. 

Learn more about Irish Poems

Video Feature: Maeve Binchy reading “Mid-term Break”

Sign up for Knopf’s Poem-a-Day email