First World War Poetry Digital Archive

Strong Beer

'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 all good fellows, 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, Plain man's drink, plain man's 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.'


“Strong Beer,” by Graves, Robert (1895-1985). The Robert Graves Copyright Trust via First World War Poetry Digital Archive, accessed February 20, 2024,

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