Strong Beer


Strong Beer was published in Graves' collection, Fairies and Fusiliers (1918). In case you were curious (as we were), "Fusilier Beer" is still brewed by the Warwickshire Beer Company, a bitter named in commemoration of the homecoming of the First Battalion, the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers.
Strong Beer
2nd City of London Battalion, Royal Fusiliers, recruitment poster, 1915
“What do you think
The bravest drink
Under the sky?”
“Strong beer,” said I.

“There’s a place for everything,
Everything, anything,
There’s a place for everything
Where it ought to be:
For a chicken, the hen’s wing;
For poison, the bee’s sting;
For almond-blossom, Spring;
A beerhouse for me.”

“There’s a prize for everyone,
Everyone, anyone,
There’s a prize for everyone,
Whoever he may be:
Crags for the mountaineer,
Flags for the Fusilier,
For English poets, beer!
Strong beer for me!”

“Tell us, now, how and when
We may find the bravest men?”
“A sure test, an easy test:
Those that drink beer are the best,
Brown beer strongly brewed,
English drink and English food.”

Oh, never choose as Gideon chose
By the cold well, but rather those
Who look on beer when it is brown,
Smack their lips and gulp it down.
Leave the lads who tamely drink
With Gideon by the water brink,
But search the benches of the Plough,
The Tun, the Sun, the Spotted Cow,
For jolly rascal lads who pray,
Pewter in hand, at close of day,
“Teach me to live that I may fear
The grave as little as my beer.”

See how much you can learn from poetry? If you enjoyed this one, you may like our collection of 100 Great Poems.

Strong Beer is featured in our collection of Drink Poems


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