Brown Penny

(1980)

"Brown Penny" is the fifth and final song of David Leisner's song cycle O Love is the Crooked Thing.

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The audio selection in the player to the right features William Alvarado, baritone, and Kate Bowen, piano. The recording is from a live performance in Boston, 1998. Used with the permission of the composer. To listen, please click on the track name itself.

Brown Penny
by 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 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.


Audio PLaylist