It was such a beautiful day and I was sitting by the Salley Gardens watching the water from the river flow silently past me. The river was living its own life, and I was living mine.
I must have fallen asleep, because I woke up by someone standing over me. I opened my eyes, and looked into a face of beauty. Her eyes were blue and cold as ice, her skin was white as snow, and her mouth was red as blood. She was like Snow-white from the fairy-tale, only more beautiful. “Hello”, she said. “Have I come to The Salley Gardens?” I rose and opened my mouth, but not a sound came out. I just stood there and stared. “Have I come to The Salley Gardens?” she repeated. I pull myself together. “Yes…” I answered. She was so pretty. Her hair was hidden under a bonnet, but I could catch a glimpse of dark curls underneath. Suddenly I registered that she still was standing there next to me. “Aren’t you going to tell me who you are?” she asked. “William Butler Yeats.” I said and kissed her hand. She blushed a bit so her white cheeks got some reddish colour before she said; “I’m Elizabeth Howling.” She turned around and started walking. Then I discovered that she was walking bare-feet. Her feet were so small and as white as the rest of her. And as I was standing there watching her, I realised that this lady, Elizabeth Howling, was the woman I’d been looking for my whole life. Even though I knew that I only was twenty years old, and she probably older, I wanted it to be us two.
She sat now by the weirs, and I sat next to her. We talked about the stunning nature and how the fish in the weirs made its own sound and melody. I told her about my poems, and that I wanted to write a poem about her and how much I loved her. She laughed. “You can’t love me!” she said. “You don’t even know me! The only thing you know is my name.” Why couldn’t she understand? She was the one I’d been looking for! She laughed again and rose. “I’ve got to go now.” I rose too, and asked if I ever would see her again? “I’ll be here tomorrow too…” she whispered and kissed my cheek. Then she walked away.
The next day I went up earlier and waited by the weirs by The Salley Gardens. I waited and waited. She came at last, when the sun was on its way down, and we watched the sunset together. She leant her head on my shoulder and I whispered some of my best poems. We sat there, and I felt the connection between us. She told me about her visit here in Ireland. That she never would have imagined that a country could be that beautiful. “I never imagined that a woman could be that beautiful,” I said and took her hand. She blushed and drew her hand back. “You mustn’t say things like that…” she whispered. “You must take love easy, as the leaves grows on the tree…” Then she ran away with the wind. I kept sitting there by the weirs for a while, just watching the water and think about my Elizabeth.
Each day we spent together. Always the same place, at the same time, and every time I told her that I loved her and that I would give my life for her sake.
The day she was leaving we were standing in the shadows of some big trees. She laid her snow-white hand on my shoulder, and said to me that even though I said I loved her, I must take life easy, as the grass grows on the weirs. Then she looked at me with her blue, cold eyes, which no longer were cold, and I discovered a lonely tear running down her cheek. She kissed me and smiled. “I will miss you,” she said. And then she ran over the meadow and the wind blew down her bonnet so her dark curls danced while she was running. “I’ll be missing you too…” I said, and closed my eyes.