Brown Penny

Girl by a Fountain. Henri Martin. 1896.


Brown Penny

William Butler Yeats


I whispered, “I am too young,”

And then, “I am old enough”;

Wherefore I threw a penny

To find out if I might love.

“Go and love, go and love, young man,

If the lady be young and fair.”

Ah, penny, brown penny, brown penny,

I am looped in the loops of her hair.


O love is a crooked thing,

There is nobody wise enough

To find out all that is in it,

For he would be thinking of love

Till the stars had run away

And the shadows eaten the moon.

Ah, penny, brown penny, brown penny,

One cannot begin it too soon.

2 thoughts on “Brown Penny”

  1. “No one is wise enough to find out what is in it.” So true! What is the full extent of love? It is infinite, beyond what mortals may imagine!

    Okay, that’s enough romantic talk, Fiona!

    P.S. I love Yeats, I love Yeats, I love Yeats, I LOVE YEATS!!!

    1. I was drawn in by “A Prayer for my Daughter,” and Yeats is fast becoming a favorite poet of mine.

      Your enthusiasm makes me smile! :)

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