File:William Butler Yeat by George Charles Beresford.jpg
Yeats [by George Charles Beresford, 1911]

Brown Penny
by William Butler Yeats

from The Green Helmet and Other Poems  [Dundrum: Cuala Press, 1910]

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. 

And the penny sang up in my face, 
‘There is nobody wise enough
To find out all that is in it,
For he would be thinking of love
That is looped in the loops of her hair
Till the loops of time had run.’ 
Ah, penny, brown penny, brown penny.
One cannot begin it too soon. 

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