Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Brown Penny

The Irish poet William Butler Yeats wrote Brown Penny. Here is the poem:

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.

The poem Brown Penny consists of two stanzas with eight verses each. The rhyme scheme is irregular. In the first and second stanzas, the sixth and eighth verses rhyme. The seventh verse of both stanzas is identical. William Butler Yeats tells the reader that nobody has sufficient wisdom to understand love fully. However, one doesn't need to know everything about love and must decide the age at which love might begin.

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