Brown Penny Poem by William Butler Yeats

Brown Penny

Rating: 4.2


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 the 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.

COMMENTS OF THE POEM
Menchie Nolasco 05 January 2010

lovely, lovely poem. i heard it first from christopher plummer in Must Love Dogs.

35 12 Reply
David Musser 02 August 2005

'Brown Penny' is performed/read aloud in the new movie Must Love Dogs. It is recited by the father at a family gathering, but he seemed to intend it specifically for his daughter (the main character) who was searching for love (with much frustration) . This poem is beautiful in many ways. Unfortunately, it is not listed in most anthologies that include Yeats.

24 12 Reply
Robert Henry 30 March 2012

I love this poem, heard it for the first time this week.

24 9 Reply
Allison McDowell 31 July 2009

i loved Must Love Dogs. it was hillarious. this poem is veryenlightning to the heart and soul. i love this poem

21 10 Reply
Elisha Wilson 13 January 2015

Nice Piece from Sir Yeats!

7 5 Reply
Terry Dawson 22 March 2020

A beautiful poem and read with such feeling for the benefit of his daughter.

0 0 Reply
Gregory 19 November 2019

I like to think of Penny as a girl rather than a coin. Mostly I like what it does to the line " wherefore I threw a Penny, to find out if I might love." :)

0 0 Reply
Joann Moran 08 June 2019

This poem was quoted frequently on the soap opera One Life to Live in the 90s I believe.

0 0 Reply
clodagh higgins 28 March 2019

how lond does it take for u to stop annoying me

0 0 Reply
Fabrizio Frosini 31 May 2016

'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. - in Italian: ' Va' e ama.. va' e ama.. ragazzo, Se la ragazza è giovane e bella '. Ah, monetina.. monetina bronzea.. monetina bronzea, Sono rimasto imbrigliato nelle anse dei suoi capelli.

10 1 Reply

William Butler Yeats

County Dublin / Ireland
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