Alcohol and Arsenic Text

Lawson, Sir Wilfred (1905) Alcohol and Arsenic Text. [Image]

[thumbnail of Alcohol and Arsenic Text CRL 50.tif]
Image (TIFF) - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial Share Alike.


Official URL:


This poem and the cartoon, from Cartoons in Rhyme and Line (1905) by Sir Wilfred Lawson, make his comment on the reaction to public concern that brewers were adulterating alcohol with other substances.


When Alcohol was growing old,
His vigour giving way,
He, by a stroke of luck, we’re told,
Met Arsenic one day.

The brothers had a friendly chat,
Reviewing days of yore,
And Arsenic, ‘twas then agreed,
Should take his business o’er.

So Arsenic now with freshening zeal
His poison spreads around,
And in the place of Alcohol,
He covers all the ground.

“But how is this,” the townsmen cry,
While back and knees give way;
“Whence comes this weak and sickly feel?
Good Brewers! Tell us, pray.”

“Oh,” say the Brewers, “it is naught,
For much the same’s the liquor;
Wit the same elements it’s fraught,
It only kills you quicker.”

November 1900.

Repository Staff Only: item control page