Tag Archives: Dante Gabriel Rossetti


Lady Lilith. Dante Gabriel Rossetti.



Walter de la Mare


I watched the Lady Caroline

Bind up her beauteous hair.

Her face was rosy in the glass,

And, ‘twixt the coils, her hands would pass,

White in the candleshine.


Her bottles on the table lay,

Stoppered, yet sweet of violet;

Her image in the mirror stooped

To view those locks as lightly looped

As cherry boughs in May.


The snowy night lay dim without,

I heard the Waits their sweet song sing;

The window smouldered keen with frost;

Yet still she twisted, sleeked and tossed

Her beauteous hair about.

Down by the Salley Gardens

Water Willow. Dante Gabriel Rossetti. 1871.


Down by the Salley Gardens

William Butler Yeats, 1889


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 life easy, as the leaves grow on the tree;

But I, being young and foolish, with her did not agree.


In a field by a 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.


A Little Poetry—Yeats presented “Down by the Salley Gardens” (originally titled “An Old Song Resung”) as “an attempt to reconstruct an old song from three lines imperfectly remembered by an old peasant woman.”

The word ‘salley’ suggests a garden of weeping willow trees. A ‘weir’ is a dam built across a river to control water levels.

A Little Music—In 1909, Hubert Hughs set Yeat’s poem to the wistful air “The Maids of the Mourne Shore.” You can listen to Roisin Reilly sing it on YouTube. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=g5e8OJibhmI>