Happy Saint Patrick's Day, one and all! May the beer of the Irish be with you!
That old saying -- "May the beer of the Irish be with you! -- was first uttered in 1853 by Emmett Lee Dickinson (Emily Dickinson's third cousin, twice removed -- at her request) when he visited Chicago for a book signing. He also started an annual tradition in the Windy City when -- after he lifted more than a "few" Irish beers -- he dyed the Chicago River green.
Below: An antique postcard from the 1920s includes Emmett Lee Dickinson's now-famous quip, "May the beer of the Irish be with you!"
Emmett Lee Dickinson wrote many poems about St. Patrick's Day and beer, including "Before Oblivion's Time there is a Beer" (below on the left). Dickinson's poem inspired third cousin Emily to pen her poem, "Above Oblivions Tide there is a Pier" (below on the right).
By Emmett Lee Dickinson:
Before Oblivion’s Time there is a Beer
And a limitless “Few” are lifted too –
Aye – lifted high – Foam for the Head –
A drunken smile – from Irish Brew –
By Emily Dickinson:
Above Oblivion's Tide there is a Pier
And an effaceless "Few" are lifted there –
Nay – lift themselves – Fame has no Arms –
And but one smile – that meagres Balms –