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Boys, Keep Your Powder Dry

Music and lyrics by Fr. C. Mayer





Can'st tell who lost the battle,
Off in the council's field?
Not they who struggle bravely,
Not they who never yield,
Not they who are determined
to conquer or to die:
And harken to this caution:
"Boys, keep your powder dry."

Chorus:
Not they who are determined
to conquer or to die:
And harken to this caution:
"Boys, keep your powder dry."

The foe awaits you yonder,
He may await you here;
Have brave hearts, stand with courage,
Be strangers, all, to fear:
And when the charge is given,
Be ready at the cry.
Look well each to his priming--
"Boys, keep your powder dry."

Chorus:

Does a lov'd one home await you,
Who wept to see you go,
Whom with a kiss imprinted
You left with sacred vow
You'd come again, when warfare
And arms are all laid by,
To take her to your bosom?
"Boys, keep your powder dry."

Chorus:

Does a father home await you?
A sister whom you love?
A mother who hast reared you,
And prayed to Him above:
"Protect my boy, preserve him,
And when the battle's done,
Send to his weeping mother,
Bereft, her darling son!"

Chorus:

The name of Freedom calls you,
The names of martyr'd sires,
And Liberty's imploring
From all her hallowed fires.
Can you withstand their calling?
You can not pass them by--
You can not? Now, charge fiercely!
"Boys, keep your powder dry."

Chorus: