by William Butler Yeats (1865 - 1939)
Translation © by Sharon Krebs

Down by the Salley Gardens my love and I...
Language: English 
Available translation(s): FRE FRI GER
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.

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)

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"


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

Researcher for this text: Ted Perry

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 8
Word count: 91

Unten bei den Salley‑Gärten traf ich...
Language: German (Deutsch)  after the English 
Unten bei den Salley-Gärten traf ich mich mit meiner Geliebten;
Sie durchlief die Salley-Gärten auf ihren schneeweißen Füßchen.
Sie bat mich, [die Liebe]1 so leicht zu nehmen, wie Blätter auf den Bäumen wachsen;
Aber ich, der ich jung und töricht war, war nicht mit ihr einverstanden.
In einem Felde bei dem Flusse stand ich mit meiner Geliebten,
Und auf meine gebeugte Schulter legte sie ihre schneeweiße Hand.
Sie bat mich, das Leben so leicht zu nehmen, wie das Gras beim Wehre wächst;
Aber ich war jung und töricht, und bin jetzt voller Tränen.

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)
Translated titles:
"But I was young and foolish" = "Aber ich war jung und töricht"
"Down by the Salley Gardens" = "Unten bei den Salley-Gärten "
"The Salley Gardens" = "Die Salley-Gärten"
"I was young and foolish" = "Ich war jung und töricht"
1 Gurney: "das Leben"


  • Translation from English to German (Deutsch) copyright © 2015 by Sharon Krebs, (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.

Based on:


This text was added to the website: 2015-08-20
Line count: 8
Word count: 93