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Down by the Salley Gardens my love and I...

Language: English

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]1 easy, as the leaves grow on the [tree]2;
But I, being young and foolish, with her [did]3 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.

Translation(s): FRE FRI GER

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Retitled "Down by the Salley Gardens" with the subtitle "An old song re-sung" when republished in Poems in 1895.

Note: "salley" is an anglicized form of the Irish word "saileach", which means willow.

1 Gurney: "life"
2 Edmunds: "trees"
3 Edmunds, Gurney: "would"

Submitted by Ted Perry


Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRI Frisian (Geart van der Meer) , "Bij de marswâl", copyright © 2013, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Sharon Krebs) , copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Text added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.

Last modified: 2019-02-06 19:35:24
Line count: 8
Word count: 91

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Mon amour et moi nous sommes rencontrés...

Language: French (Français) after the English

Mon amour et moi nous sommes rencontrés en bas près des jardins de saules ;
Elle passait près des jardins de saules avec son petit pied blanc comme neige
Elle m'invita à prendre [l'amour]1 simplement, comme les feuilles poussent sur les arbres ;
Mais moi, jeune et insensé, n'étais pas d'accord avec elle.

Mon amour et moi étions dans un champ près de la rivière,
Et sur mon épaule inclinée elle posa sa main blanche comme neige.
Elle m'invita à prendre la vie simplement, comme l'herbe pousse sur les digues ;
Mais moi j'étais jeune et insensé, et maintenant je suis plein de larmes.

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About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)
Translation of title "Down by the Salley Gardens" = "En bas près des Jardins de Saules"
1 Gurney: "la vie"


  • Translation from English to French (Français) copyright © 2016 by Pierre Mathé, (re)printed on this website with kind permission. To reprint and distribute this author's work for concert programs, CD booklets, etc., you may ask the copyright-holder(s) directly or ask us; we are authorized to grant permission on their behalf. Please provide the translator's name when contacting us.


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Based on
  • a text in English by William Butler Yeats (1865 - 1939), title 1: "An old song re-sung", title 2: "Down by the Salley Gardens", appears in The Wanderings of Oisin and Other Poems, first published 1889 FRI GER
      • This text was set to music by the following composer(s): Samuel Hans Adler, Allan Blank, James Brash, Benjamin Britten, Alan Dudley Bush, Rebecca Clarke, Judith Cloud, June Harple Collins, Alan DeBeer, Alice Decevee, John Edmunds, Elaine M. Erickson, Gerald Finzi, Ivor Gurney, Irvin Hinchliffe, Herbert Hughes, John Ireland, John Jeffreys, Ellen Mandel, Diana Methold, Mary Plumstead, Irena Regina Poldowski, Robert Leon Rollin, Martin Edward Fallas Shaw, Henry Stanley Taylor. Go to the text.


Text added to the website: 2016-01-04.
Last modified: 2016-01-04 19:10:47
Line count: 8
Word count: 104