Oliver's Advice

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Oliver’s Advice.
Adapted to the "Times That Be."

by William Blacker
Originally published in The Dublin University Magazine by "Fitz Stewart" (pseudonym of William Blacker)
The night is gathering gloomily, the day is closing fast—
The tempest flaps his raven wings in loud and angry blast;
The thunder clouds are driving athwart the lurid sky—
But, “put your trust in God, my boys, and keep your powder dry.”*

There was a day when loyalty was hail’d with honour due,
Out banner the protection wav’d to all the good and true—
And gallant hearts beneath its folds were link’d in honour’s tie,
We put our trust in God, my boys, and we kept our powder dry.

When Treason bar’d her bloody arm, and madden’d round the land,
For king, and laws, and order fair, we drew the ready brand;
Our gathering spell was William’s name—our word was, “do or die,”
And still we put our trust in God, and kept our powder dry.

But now, alas! a wondrous change has come the nation o’er,
And worth and gallant services remember’d are no more,
And, crush’d beneath oppression’s weight, in chains of grief we lie—
But put your trust in God, my boys, and keep your powder dry.

Forth starts the spawn of Treason, the ’scap’d of ninety-eight,
To bask in courtly favour, and seize the helm of state—
E’en they whose hands are reeking yet with murder’s crimson dye—
But put your trust in God, my boys, and keep your powder dry.

They come, whose deeds incarnadin’d the Slaney’s silver wave—
They come, who to the foreign foe the hail of welcome gave;
He comes, the open rebel fierce—he comes the Jesuit sly;
But put your trust in God, my boys, and keep your powder dry.

They come, whose counsels wrapp’d the land in foul rebellious flame,
Their hearts unchastened by remorse, their cheeks unting’d by shame.
Be still, be still, indignant heart—be tearless, too, each eye,
And put your trust in God, my boys, and keep your powder dry.

The Pow’r that led his chosen, by pillar’d cloud and flame,
Through parted sea and desert waste, that Pow’r is still the same.
He fails not—He, the loyal hearts that firm on him rely—
So put your trust in God, my boys, and keep your powder dry.

The Pow’r that nerv’d the stalwart arms of Gideon’s chosen few,
The Pow’r that led the great William, Boyne’s reddening torrent through—
In his protecting aid confide, and every foe defy—
Then put your trust in God, my boys, and keep your powder dry.

Already see the star of hope emits its orient blaze,
The cheering beacon of relief it glimmers thro’ the haze.
It tells of better days to come, it tells of succour nigh,
Then put your trust in God, my boys, and keep your powder dry.

See, see along the hills of Down its rising glories spread,
But brightest beams its radiance from Donard's lofty head.**
Clanbrassil’s vales are kindling wide, and “Roden” is the cry—
Then put your trust in God, my boys, and keep your powder dry.

Then cheer ye hearts of loyalty, nor sink in dark despair
Our banner shall again unfold its glories to the air.
The storm that raves the wildest, the soonest passes by;
Then put your trust in God, my boys, and keep your powder dry.

For “happy homes,” for “altars free,” we grasp the ready sword,
For freedom, truth, and for our God’s unmutilated word.
These, these the war-cry of our march, our hope the Lord on high;
Then put your trust in God my boys, and keep your powder dry.

Bannside, Nov. 1st. FITZ STEWART.

* There is a well-authenticated anecdote of Cromwell. On a certain occasion, when his troops were about crossing a river to attack the enemy, he concluded an address, couched in the usual fanatic terms in use among them, with these words– "put your trust in God; but mind to keep your powder dry."

** Lord Roden resides at the base of Slieve Donard.