"Het Wilhelmus" redirects here. It is not to be confused with De Wilhelmus.
English: William

Early version of the Wilhelmus as preserved in a manuscript from 1617[1]

National anthem of  Netherlands

Lyrics disputed, 1568 ~ 1572
Music adapted by Adrianus Valerius, composer of original unknown, 1568
Adopted 1932 (officially)
1954 (Netherlands Antilles)
Relinquished 1964 (Netherlands Antilles)

Music sample
Wilhelmus (instrumental)

Wilhelmus van Nassouwe, usually known just as the Wilhelmus (Dutch: Het Wilhelmus; pronounced [ɦɛt ʋɪlˈɦɛlmɵs]; English translation: the William), is the national anthem of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the oldest known national anthem in the world.[2] The national anthem of Japan, Kimigayo, has the oldest lyrics, dating from the 9th century. However, a melody was only added in the late 19th century, making it a poem rather than an anthem for most of its lifespan. Although the Wilhelmus was not recognised as the official national anthem until 1932, it has always been popular with parts of the Dutch population and resurfaced on several occasions in the course of Dutch history before gaining its present status.[3] It was also the anthem of the Netherlands Antilles from 1954–1964.

Like many anthems, the Wilhelmus originated in the nation's struggle to achieve independence. It tells of the Father of the Nation William of Orange who was stadholder in the Netherlands under the king of Spain. In the first person, as if quoting himself, William speaks to the Dutch people ("mijn ondersaten", my subjects) and tells about both the outer conflict – the Dutch Revolt – as well as his own, inner struggle: on one hand, he tries to be faithful to the king of Spain,[4] on the other hand he is above all faithful to his conscience: to serve God and the Dutch people. This is made apparent in the 8th stanza where the comparison is made between the biblical David who serves under the tyrannic king Saul, and William who serves under the King of Spain. As the merciful David defeats the unjust Saul and is rewarded by God with the kingdom of Israel, so too, with the help of God, will William be rewarded a kingdom; being either or both the Netherlands, and the kingdom of God.

Protestant confessions in Europe in the 16th century. Blue: Calvinism, purple: Lutheranism, orange: Anglicanism.

Both the Wilhelmus and the Dutch Revolt should be seen in the light of the Reformation in Europe in the 16th century, and the resulting prosecution of Protestants (Calvinists) by the Spanish Inquisition in the Low Countries, then part of the Spanish Empire. Protestant propagandists across Europe found that music proved useful in generating class transcending social cohesion, and in lampooning Roman clerks and repressive monarchs. The Wilhelmus stands as the preeminent example of this militant music. It combines a psalmic character with political relevancy.[5]


Authorship melody

The melody of the Wilhelmus was borrowed from a well known Roman Catholic French song titled "Autre chanson de la ville de Chartres assiégée par le prince de Condé" or in short: "Chartres". This song ridiculed the failed Siege of Chartres in 1568 by the Huguenot (Protestant) Prince de Condé during the French Wars of Religion. However, the triumphant contents of the Wilhelmus is the opposite of the content of the original song, making it subversive at several levels. Thus, the Dutch Protestants had taken over an anti-Protestant song, and adapted it into propaganda for their own agenda. In that way, the Wilhelmus was typical for its time, since It was common practice in the 16th century for warring groups to steal each other's songs in order to rewrite them.[6]

Even though the melody stems from 1568, the first known written down version of it comes from 1574, in the time the anthem was sung in a much quicker pace. Dutch composer Adriaen Valerius recorded the current melody of the Wilhelmus in his "Nederlantsche Gedenck-clanck" in 1626, slowing down the melody's pace, probably to allow it to be sung in churches. The current official version is the 1932 arrangement by Walther Boer.

Philips of Marnix presents the Wilhelmus to William the Silent, by Jacob Spoel (ca 1850).

Authorship lyrics

The origins of the lyrics are uncertain. The Wilhelmus was first written some time between the start of the Eighty Years' War in April 1568 and the Capture of Brielle on 1 April 1572,[7] making it at least 443–444 years old. Soon after the anthem was finished it was said that either Philips of Marnix, a writer, statesman and former mayor of Antwerp, or Dirck Coornhert, a politician and theologian, wrote the lyrics. However, this is disputed as both Marnix and Coornhert never mentioned that they wrote the lyrics. This is strange since the song was immensely popular in their time. The Wilhelmus also has some odd rhymes in it. In some cases the vowels of certain words were altered to allow them to rhyme with other words. Some see this as evidence that neither Marnix or Coornhert wrote the anthem as they were both experienced poets when the Wilhelmus was written and they would not have taken these small liberties. Hence some believe that the lyrics of the Dutch national anthem were the creation of someone who just wrote one poem for the occasion and then disappeared from history. A French translation of the Wilhelmus appeared around 1582.[8]

Recent stylometric research mentioned Petrus Dathenus as a possible author of the text of the Dutch national anthem.[9] Dutch and Flemish researchers (Meertens Institute, Utrecht University and University of Antwerp) discovered by chance a striking number of similarities between his style and the style of the national anthem.[10][11]

Structure and interpretation

The complete text comprises fifteen stanzas. The anthem is an acrostic: the first letters of the fifteen stanzas formed the name 'Willem van Nassov' (Nassov was a contemporary orthographic variant of Nassau). In the current Dutch spelling the first words of the 12th and 13th stanzas begin with Z instead of S.

Like many of the songs of the period, it has a complex structure, composed around a thematic chiasmus: the text is symmetrical, in that verses one and 15 resemble one another in meaning, as do verses two and 14, three and 13, etc., until they converge in the 8th verse, the heart of the song: "Oh David, thou soughtest shelter from King Saul's tyranny. Even so I fled this welter", where the comparison is made between the biblical David and William of Orange as merciful and just leader, between the tyran King Saul and the Spanish crown, and between the promised land of Israel granted by God to David, and the Netherlands.[12]

The last two lines of the first stanza however, indicate that the leader of the Dutch civil war against the Spanish Empire of which they were part, had no specific quarrel with king Philip II of Spain, but rather with his emissaries in the Low Countries, like Fernando Álvarez de Toledo, 3rd Duke of Alba. This may have been because at the time (late 16th century) it was uncommon to publicly doubt the Divine Right of Kings, who was accountable to God alone.[13] In 1581 the Netherlands nevertheless rejected the legitimacy of the king of Spain's rule over it in the Act of Abjuration.

"Duytschen" (in English generally translated as "Dutch" or "native") in the first stanza as a reference to William's roots, whose modern Dutch equivalent, "Duits", exclusively means "German", may refer to William's ancestral house (Nassau, Germany) or to the lands of the Holy Roman Empire, including the Netherlands.[14][15] But most probably it is simply a reference to the broader meaning of the word, which points out William as a ''native'' of the fatherland, as appose to the king of Spain, who was seldom or not in the Netherlands. The prince thus states that his roots are Germanic rather than Romance – in spite of his being Prince of Orange in France as well.[16] See also Theodiscus and Low Countries (terminology).


William the Silent (William I), leader and icon of the Dutch revolt against the Spanish.


Though only proclaimed the national anthem in 1932, the Wilhelmus already had a centuries-old prior history. It had been sung on many official occasions and at many important events since the outbreak of the Dutch Revolt in 1568, such as the siege of Haarlem in 1573 and the ceremonial entry of the Prince of Orange into Brussels on 18 September 1578.

It has been claimed that during the gruesome torture of Balthasar Gérard (the assassin of William of Orange) in 1584, the song was sung by the guards who sought to overpower Gérard's screams when boiling pigs' fat was poured over him. Gérard allegedly responded "Sing! Dutch sinners! Sing! But know that soon I shall be sung of!".[17]

Another legend claims that following the Navigation Acts (a 1651 ordinance by Oliver Cromwell requiring all foreign fleets in the North Sea or the Channel to dip their flag in salute) the Wilhelmus was sung (or rather, shouted) by the sailors on the Dutch flagship Brederode in response to the first warning shot fired by an English fleet under Robert Blake, when their captain Maarten Tromp refused to lower his flag. At the end of the song, which coincided with the third (i.e. last) English warning shot, Tromp fired a full broadside thereby beginning the Battle of Goodwin Sands and the First Anglo-Dutch War.[18]

During the Dutch Golden Age, it was conceived essentially as the anthem of the House of Orange-Nassau and its supporters – which meant, in the politics of the time, the anthem of a specific political faction which was involved in a prolonged struggle with opposing factions (which sometimes became violent, verging on civil war). Therefore, the fortunes of the song paralleled those of the Orangist faction. Trumpets played the Wilhelmus when Prince Maurits visited Breda, and again when he was received in state in Amsterdam in May 1618. When William V arrived in Schoonhoven in 1787, after the authority of the stadholders had been restored, the church bells are said to have played the Wilhelmus continuously. After the Batavian Revolution, inspired by the French Revolution, it had come to be called the "Princes' March" as it was banned during the rule of the Patriots, who did not support the House of Orange-Nassau.

However, at the foundation of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in 1813, the Wilhelmus had fallen out of favour. Having become monarchs with a claim to represent the entire nation and stand above factions, the House of Orange decided to break with the song which served them as heads of a faction, and the Wilhelmus was hence replaced by Hendrik Tollens' song Wien Neêrlands bloed door d'aderen vloeit, which was the official Dutch anthem from 1815 till 1932. However, the Wilhelmus remained popular and lost its identification as a factional song, and on 10 May 1932, it was decreed that on all official occasions requiring the performance of the national anthem, the Wilhelmus was to be played – thereby replacing Tollens' song.

During the German occupation of the Netherlands, Arthur Seyss-Inquart, the Nazi Reichskommissar, banned all the emblems of the Dutch royal family, including the Wilhelmus. This was then taken up by all factions of the Dutch resistance, even those socialists who had previously taken an anti-monarchist stance. The pro-German Nationaal-Socialistische Beweging (NSB), who had sung the Wilhelmus at their meetings before the occupation, replaced it with Alle Man van Neerlands Stam ("All Men of Dutch Origin").[19] The anthem was drawn to the attention of the English-speaking world by the 1942 British war film, One of Our Aircraft Is Missing. The film concerns a Royal Air Force bomber crew who are shot down over the occupied Netherlands and are helped to escape by the local inhabitants. The melody is heard during the film as part of the campaign of passive resistance by the population, and it finishes with the coat of arms of the Netherlands on screen while the Wilhelmus is played.[20]


First stanza of the Wilhelmus

The Wilhelmus is played only once at a ceremony or whatever other event and, if possible, it is to be the last piece of music to be played. When receiving a foreign head of state or emissary, the Dutch anthem may not be played unless a member of the Dutch Royal House is present. This is virtually unique in the world as most countries play the anthem of the foreign relation followed by their own anthem.

During international sport events, such as the World Cup, UEFA European Football Championship and the Olympic Games the Wilhelmus is also played. In nearly every case the 1st and 6th stanza (or repeating the last lines), or the 1st stanza alone, are sung/played rather than the entire song, which would result in about 15 minutes of music.[21]

The "Wilhelmus" is also widely used in Flemish nationalist gatherings as a symbol of cultural unity with the Netherlands. Yearly rallies like the "IJzerbedevaart" and the "Vlaams Nationaal Zangfeest" close with singing the 6th stanza, after which the Flemish national anthem "De Vlaamse Leeuw" is sung.


An important set of variations on the melody of Wilhelmus van Nassouwe is that by the blind carillon-player Jacob Van Eyck in his mid-17th century collection of variations Der Fluyten Lust-hof.[22]

The royal anthem of Luxembourg, called de Wilhelmus, has a shared origin with the Dutch anthem het Wilhelmus. It is in official use since 1919, and was first used in Luxembourg (at the time in personal union with the Kingdom of the United Netherlands) on the occasion of the visit of the Dutch King and Grand Duke of Luxembourg William III in 1883. Later, the anthem was played for Grand Duke Adolph of Luxembourg along with the national anthem. The melody is very similar, but not identical to that of the Wilhelmus, since the melody of the latter has been adapted considerably in history.

The melody is used, with rewritten English lyrics, as the alma mater of Northwestern College in Orange City, Iowa, USA. Northwestern College is associated with the historically Dutch Christian denomination the Reformed Church in America. Orange City, the college's location, is named for the House of Orange. Small local governmental districts, townships, are named Nassau, Holland and East Orange.


The Wilhelmus
A choir accompanied by an organ sings the first and sixth stanza.

Problems playing this file? See media help.

The Wilhelmus was first printed in a geuzenliedboek, literally "Beggars' songbook" in 1581. It used the following text as an introduction to the Wilhelmus:

Een nieuw Christelick Liedt gemaect ter eeren des Doorluchtichsten Heeren, Heere Wilhelm Prince van Oraengien, Grave van Nassou, Patris Patriae, mijnen Genaedigen Forsten ende Heeren. Waer van deerste Capitael letteren van elck veers syner Genaedigen Forstens name metbrengen. Na de wijse van Chartres.
A new Christian song made in the honour of the most noble lord, lord William Prince of Orange, count of Nassau, Pater Patriae (Father of the Nation), my merciful prince and lord. [A song] of which the first capital letter of each stanza form the name of his merciful prince. To the melody of Chartres.
Original Dutch lyrics (1568) Contemporary Dutch lyrics Melodic English lyrics[23] Non-melodic English translation
First stanza

Wilhelmus van Nassouwe
Ben ick van Duytschen bloet,
Den Vaderlant getrouwe
Blyf ick tot in den doet:
Een Prince van Oraengien
Ben ick vrij onverveert,
Den Coninck van Hispaengien
Heb ick altijt gheeert.

Wilhelmus van Nassouwe
ben ik, van Duitsen bloed,
den vaderland getrouwe
blijf ik tot als beboet
Een Prinse van Oranje
ben ik, vrij, onverveerd,
den Koning van Hispanje
heb ik altijd geëerd.

William of Nassau, scion
Of a Dutch and ancient line,
I dedicate undying
Faith to this land of mine.
A prince am I undaunted,
Of Orange, ever free,
To the king of Spain I've granted
A lifelong loyalty.

William of Nassau 
am I, of native blood.
Loyal to the fatherland 
I will remain until I die.
A prince of Orange 
am I, free and fearless.
The king of Spain
I have always honoured.

Second stanza

In Godes vrees te leven
Heb ick altyt betracht,
Daerom ben ick verdreven
Om Landt om Luyd ghebracht:
Maer God sal mij regeren
Als een goet Instrument,
Dat ick zal wederkeeren
In mijnen Regiment.

In Godes vrees te leven
heb ik altijd betracht,
daarom ben ik verdreven,
om land, om luid gebracht.
Maar God zal mij regeren
als een goed instrument,
dat ik zal wederkeren
in mijnen regiment.

I've ever tried to live in
The fear of God's command
And therefore I've been driven,
From people, home, and land,
But God, I trust, will rate me
His willing instrument
And one day reinstate me
Into my government.

To live in fear of God 
I have always attempted.
Because of this I was ousted 
bereft of my land and my people.
But God will direct me 
like a good instrument.
So that I may return 
to my domain.

Third stanza

Lydt u myn Ondersaten
Die oprecht zyn van aert,
Godt sal u niet verlaten
Al zijt ghy nu beswaert:
Die vroom begheert te leven
Bidt Godt nacht ende dach,
Dat hy my cracht wil gheven
Dat ick u helpen mach.

Lijdt u, mijn onderzaten
die oprecht zijt van aard,
God zal u niet verlaten,
al zijt gij nu bezwaard.
Die vroom begeert te leven,
bidt God nacht ende dag,
dat Hij mij kracht zal geven,
dat ik u helpen mag.

Let no despair betray you,
My subjects true and good.
The Lord will surely stay you
Though now you are pursued.
He who would live devoutly
Must pray God day and night
To throw His power about me
As champion of your right.

Hold on my subjects, 
who are honest by nature.
God will not abandon you 
even though you now are in despair.
He who tries to live piously, 
must pray to God day and night,
that He will give me strength 
that I may help you.

Fourth stanza

Lyf en goet al te samen
Heb ick u niet verschoont,
Mijn broeders hooch van Namen
Hebbent u oock vertoont:
Graef Adolff is ghebleven
In Vriesland in den slaech,
Syn Siel int ewich Leven
Verwacht den Jongsten dach.

Lijf en goed al te samen
heb ik u niet verschoond,
mijn broeders hoog van namen
hebben 't u ook vertoond:
Graaf Adolf is gebleven
in Friesland in de slag,
zijn ziel in 't eeuwig leven
verwacht de jongste dag.

Life and my all for others
I sacrificed, for you!
And my illustrious brothers
Proved their devotion too.
Count Adolf, more's the pity,
Fell in the Frisian fray,
And in the eternal city
Awaits the judgement day.

My life and fortune altogether
I have not spared you.
My brothers high in rank
have shown you this as well:
Count Adolf died 
in battle in Frisia
His soul in eternal life 
awaits the final judgement.

Fifth stanza

Edel en Hooch gheboren
Van Keyserlicken Stam:
Een Vorst des Rijcks vercoren
Als een vroom Christen man,
Voor Godes Woort ghepreesen
Heb ick vrij onversaecht,
Als een Helt sonder vreesen
Mijn edel bloet ghewaecht.

Edel en hooggeboren,
van keizerlijke stam,
een vorst des rijks verkoren,
als een vroom christenman,
voor Godes woord geprezen,
heb ik, vrij onversaagd,
als een held zonder vreze
mijn edel bloed gewaagd.

I, nobly born, descended
From an imperial stock.
An empire's prince, defended
(Braving the battle's shock
Heroically and fearless
As pious Christian ought)
With my life's blood the peerless
Gospel of God our Lord.

Noble and high-born,
of imperial descent,
Chosen a prince of the empire,
Like a pious Christian, 
for the honoured word of God,
I have without hesitation
like a fearless hero, 
ventured my own noble blood.

Sixth stanza

Mijn Schilt ende betrouwen
Sijt ghy, o Godt mijn Heer,
Op u soo wil ick bouwen
Verlaet mij nimmermeer:
Dat ick doch vroom mach blijven
V dienaer taller stondt,
Die Tyranny verdrijven,
Die my mijn hert doorwondt.

Mijn schild ende betrouwen
zijt Gij, o God mijn Heer,
op U zo wil ik bouwen,
Verlaat mij nimmermeer.
Dat ik doch vroom mag blijven,
uw dienaar t'aller stond,
en de tirannie verdrijven
die mijn hart doorwondt.

A shield and my reliance,
O God, Thou ever wert.
I'll trust unto Thy guidance.
O leave me not ungirt.
That I may stay a pious
Servant of Thine for aye
And drive the plagues that try us
And tyranny away.

My shield and reliance 
are you, o God my Lord.
It is you on whom I want to rely, 
never leave me again.
[Grant] that I may remain brave, 
your servant for always,
and [may] defeat the tyranny, 
which pierces my heart.

Seventh stanza

Van al die my beswaren,
End mijn Vervolghers zijn,
Mijn Godt wilt doch bewaren
Den trouwen dienaer dijn:
Dat sy my niet verrasschen
In haren boosen moet,
Haer handen niet en wasschen
In mijn onschuldich bloet.

Van al die mij bezwaren
en mijn vervolgers zijn,
mijn God, wil doch bewaren
de trouwe dienaar dijn,
dat zij mij niet verrassen
in hunne boze moed,
hun handen niet en wassen
in mijn onschuldig bloed.

My God, I pray thee, save me
From all who do pursue
And threaten to enslave me,
Thy trusted servant true.
O Father, do not sanction
Their wicked, foul design,
Don't let them wash their hands in
This guiltless blood of mine.

From all those that burden me 
and are my pursuers,
my God, do save 
your loyal servant.
That they may not surprise me 
with their wicked plans
nor wash their hands 
in my innocent blood.

Eighth stanza

Als David moeste vluchten
Voor Saul den Tyran:
Soo heb ick moeten suchten
Met menich Edelman:
Maer Godt heeft hem verheven
Verlost uit alder noot,
Een Coninckrijk ghegheven
In Israel seer groot.

Als David moeste vluchten
voor Sauel de tiran,
zo heb ik moeten zuchten
als menig edelman.
Maar God heeft hem verheven,
verlost uit alle nood,
een koninkrijk gegeven
in Israël zeer groot.

O David, thou soughtest shelter
From King Saul's tyranny.
Even so I fled this welter
And many a lord with me.
But God the Lord did save him
From exile and its hell
And, in His mercy, gave him
A realm in Israel.

Like David, who was forced to flee 
from Saul, the tyrant.
I had to sigh,  
as did many other nobles.
But God raised him, 
relieving him of despair,
and gave him a kingdom 
very great in Israel

Ninth stanza

Na tsuer sal ick ontfanghen
Van Godt mijn Heer dat soet,
Daer na so doet verlanghen
Mijn Vorstelick ghemoet:
Dat is dat ick mach sterven
Met eeren in dat Velt,
Een eewich Rijck verwerven
Als een ghetrouwe Helt.

Na 't zuur zal ik ontvangen
van God mijn Heer het zoet,
daarnaar zo doet verlangen
mijn vorstelijk gemoed:
dat is, dat ik mag sterven
met ere in dat veld,
een eeuwig rijk verwerven
als een getrouwe held.

Fear not 't will rain sans ceasing
The clouds are bound to part.
I bide that sight so pleasing
Unto my princely heart,
Which is that I with honor
Encounter death in war,
And meet in heaven my Donor,
His faithful warrior.

After this sourness I will receive 
from God my Lord the sweetness 
For that longs so much
my noble mind 
which is that I may die 
with honour in the fields,
and gain an eternal realm 
as a faithful hero.

Tenth stanza

Niet doet my meer erbarmen
In mijnen wederspoet,
Dan dat men siet verarmen
Des Conincks Landen goet,
Dat van de Spaengiaerts crencken
O Edel Neerlandt soet,
Als ick daer aen ghedencke
Mijn Edel hert dat bloet.

Niets doet mij meer erbarmen
in mijne wederspoed
dan dat men ziet verarmen
des Konings landen goed.
Dat u de Spanjaards krenken,
o edel Neerland zoet,
als ik daaraan gedenke,
mijn edel hart dat bloedt.

Nothing so moves my pity
As seeing through these lands,
Field, village, town and city
Pillaged by roving hands.
O that the Spaniards rape thee,
My Netherlands so sweet,
The thought of that does grip me
Causing my heart to bleed.

Nothing makes me pity so much 
in my adversity,
then that are seen to be impoverishing
the good lands of the King 
That you are molested by the Spaniards, 
O Noble Netherlands sweet,
when I think of that, 
my noble heart bleeds.

Eleventh stanza

Als een Prins op gheseten
Met mijner Heyres cracht,
Van den Tyran vermeten
Heb ick den Slach verwacht,
Die by Maestricht begraven
Bevreesden mijn ghewelt,
Mijn ruyters sach men draven.
Seer moedich door dat Velt.

Als een prins opgezeten
met mijner heireskracht,
van de tiran vermeten
heb ik de slag verwacht,
die, bij Maastricht begraven,
bevreesden mijn geweld;
mijn ruiters zag men draven
zeer moedig door dat veld.

Astride on steed of mettle
I've waited with my host
The tyrant's call to battle,
Who durst not do his boast.
For, near Maastricht ensconced,
He feared the force I wield.
My horsemen saw one bounce it
Bravely across the field.

Seated [on horseback] like a prince, 
with my armed forces,
Defied by the tyrant, 
I awaited the battle.
Those dug in at Maastricht 
were afraid of my might
People saw my horsemen ride 
bravely through the fields.

Twelfth stanza

Soo het den wille des Heeren
Op die tyt had gheweest,
Had ick gheern willen keeren
Van v dit swear tempeest:
Maer de Heer van hier boven
Die alle dinck regeert.
Diemen altijd moet loven
En heeftet niet begheert.

Zo het de wil des Heren
op die tijd was geweest,
had ik geern willen keren
van u dit zwaar tempeest.
Maar de Heer van hierboven,
die alle ding regeert,
die men altijd moet loven,
Hij heeft het niet begeerd.

Surely, if God had willed it,
When that fierce tempest blew,
My power would have stilled it,
Or turned its blast from you
But He who dwells in heaven,
Whence all our blessings flow,
For which aye praise be given,
Did not desire it so.

If it had been the Lord's will,
at the time,
I would have gladly relieved 
you of this heavy tempest.
But the Lord above, 
who rules all,
He who we should always praise, 
did not desire so.

Thirteenth stanza

Seer Prinslick was ghedreven
Mijn Princelick ghemoet,
Stantvastich is ghebleven
Mijn hert in teghenspoet,
Den Heer heb ick ghebeden
Van mijnes herten gront,
Dat hy mijn saeck wil reden,
Mijn onschult doen bekant.

Zeer christlijk was gedreven
mijn prinselijk gemoed,
standvastig is gebleven
mijn hart in tegenspoed.
De Heer heb ik gebeden
uit mijnes harten grond,
dat Hij mijn zaak wil redden,
mijn onschuld maken kond.

Steadfast my heart remaineth
In my adversity
My princely courage straineth
All nerves to live and be.
I've prayed the Lord my Master
With fervid heart and tense
To save me from disaster
And prove my innocence.

By a Christian mood was driven
My princely heart 
Steadfast remained 
my heart in adversity
To the Lord I prayed, 
from the bottom of my heart,
that He may save my cause, 
and proclaim my innocence.

Fourteenth stanza

Oorlof mijn arme Schapen
Die zijt in grooten noot,
V Herder sal niet slapen
Al zijt ghy nu verstroyt:
Tot Godt wilt v begheven,
Syn heylsaem Woort neemt aen,
Als vrome Christen leven,
Tsal hier haest zijn ghedaen.

Oorlof, mijn arme schapen
die zijt in grote nood,
uw herder zal niet slapen,
al zijt gij nu verstrooid.
Tot God wilt u begeven,
zijn heilzaam woord neemt aan,
als vrome christen leven,-
't zal hier haast zijn gedaan.

Alas! my flock. To sever
Is hard on us. Farewell.
Your Shepherd wakes, wherever
Dispersed you may dwell,
Pray God that He may ease you.
His Gospel be your cure.
Walk in the steps of Jesus
This life will not endure.

Farewell, my poor sheep, 
who are in deep despair.
Your shepherd will not sleep, 
even though you are now dispersed.
Turn to God, 
accept his curing word. 
Live as a good Christian;
soon, it will be finished here .

Fifteenth stanza

Voor Godt wil ick belijden
End zijner grooter Macht,
Dat ick tot gheenen tijden
Den Coninck heb veracht:
Dan dat ick Godt den Heere
Der hoochster Maiesteyt,
Heb moeten obedieren,
Inder gherechticheyt.

Voor God wil ik belijden
en zijne grote macht,
dat ik tot gene tijden
de Koning heb veracht,
dan dat ik God de Here,
de hoogste Majesteit,
heb moeten obediëren
in de gerechtigheid.

Unto the Lord His power
I do confession make
That ne'er at any hour
Ill of the King I spake.
But unto God, the greatest
Of Majesties I owe
Obedience first and latest,
For Justice wills it so.

I want to confess to God, 
and to his great power
that I have never 
despised the King.
except that to God the Lord, 
the highest Majesty
I've been obedient
in justice.






Notes and references

  1. M. de Bruin, "Het Wilhelmus tijdens de Republiek", in: L.P. Grijp (ed.), Nationale hymnen. Het Wilhelmus en zijn buren. Volkskundig bulletin 24 (1998), p. 16-42, 199–200; esp. p. 28 n. 65.
  2. national-anthems.org – facts National Anthems facts
  3. "Netherlands – Het Wilhelmus". NationalAnthems.me. Retrieved 21 November 2011.
  4. CF.hum.uva.nl
  5. DeLapp, Nevada Levi (2014-08-28). The Reformed David(s) and the Question of Resistance to Tyranny: Reading the Bible in the 16th and 17th Centuries. Bloomsbury Publishing. p. 87. ISBN 9780567655493.
  6. "Geuzenliedboek". cf.hum.uva.nl. Retrieved 2016-08-14.
  7. "Louis Peter Grijp-lezing 10 mei 2016". Vimeo. Retrieved 2016-08-13.
  8. J. te Winkel, De ontwikkelingsgang der Nederlandsche letterkunde. Deel 2: Geschiedenis der Nederlandsche letterkunde van Middeleeuwen en Rederijkerstijd (Haarlem 1922), p. 491 n. 1.DBNL.org
  9. "'Schrijver Wilhelmus is te ontdekken met computeralgoritme'" (in Dutch). Retrieved 2016-08-13.
  10. "Toevallig op Petrus Datheen stuiten" (in Dutch). 2016-05-11. Retrieved 2016-08-13.
  11. "Louis Peter Grijp-lezing online" (in Dutch). 2016-05-22. Retrieved 2016-08-13.
  12. DeLapp, Nevada Levi (2014-08-28). The Reformed David(s) and the Question of Resistance to Tyranny: Reading the Bible in the 16th and 17th Centuries. Bloomsbury Publishing. pp. 88–90. ISBN 9780567655493.
  13. DeLapp, Nevada Levi (2014-08-28). The Reformed David(s) and the Question of Resistance to Tyranny: Reading the Bible in the 16th and 17th Centuries. Bloomsbury Publishing. p. 155. ISBN 9780567655493.
  14. Maria A. Schenkeveld, Dutch literature in the age of Rembrandt: themes and ideas (1991), 6
  15. Leerssen, J. (1999). Nationaal denken in Europa: een cultuurhistorische schets. p. 29.
  16. DeGrauwe, Luc (2002). Emerging Mother-Tongue Awareness: The special case of Dutch and German in the Middle Ages and the early Modern Period, in: in: Standardisation: studies from the Germanic languages. pp. 99–116.
  17. van Doorn, T. H. "Het Wilhelmus, analyse van de inhoud, de structuur en de boodschap.". www.cubra.nl. Retrieved 2016-08-14.
  18. van Doorn, T. H. "Het Wilhelmus, analyse van de inhoud, de structuur en de boodschap.". www.cubra.nl. Retrieved 2016-08-14.
  19. Dewulf, Jeroen (2010), Spirit of Resistance: Dutch Clandestine Literature During the Nazi Occupation, Camden House, New York ISBN 978-1-57113-493-6 (p. 115)
  20. Furhammar, Leif and Isaksson, Folke (1971), Politics and film, Praeger Publishers, New York (p. 81)
  21. Each of the 15 stanzas lasts 56 seconds, and the last stanza has a Ritenuto.
  22. Michel, Winfried and Hermien Teske (eds.) (1984). Jacob van Eyck (ca. 1590–1657): Der Fluyten Lust-hof. Winterthur: Amadeus Verlag – Bernhard Päuler.
  23. "The Dutch National Anthem". MinBuZa.nl. Retrieved 13 October 2014.

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