by William Butler Yeats (1865 - 1939)
Translation © by Geart van der Meer

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

Bij de marswâl
Language: Frisian  after the English 
Bij de marswâl lâns tripkjend Hie mij myn leafste fûn,
Op wite fuotsjes tripkjend Wie sij dêrhinne rûn.
Sij sei, twing net de leafde,  Dy't as gers groeit oan 'e dyk;
Mar ik dy't jong en dwaas wie, Ik joech har  gjin gelyk.

Troch Ierlâns griene fjilden naam mij myn leafste mei
dy't op myn drôvich skouder har ynwyt hantsje lei.
Sij sei, twing net it libben, dat as gers groeit op 'e daam;
Mar om't ik jong en dwaas wie,  binn' no de triennen kaam.


  • Translation from English to Frisian copyright © 2013 by Geart van der Meer, (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: 2013-04-23
Line count: 8
Word count: 86