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The poem opens with the speaker meeting his love down by the salley gardens (wherever those may be—it's not clarified in the poem). She tells him to take love easy like the leaves growing on the trees. But, since the speaker is young and foolish, he doesn't listen to her and pretty much blows her off. Later, the two are hanging out by a river and this time the girl with snow-white hands tells him to take life easy. But again, the speaker is young and foolish, and ends up full of tears after not taking the young girl's advice. Sad times.