Shine, shine, the light of good works shine
The watch before the city gates depicted in their prime
That golden light all grimy now
Three hundred years have passed
The worthy Captain and his squad of troopers standing fast.
The artist knew their faces well
The husbands of his lady friends
His creditors and councillors
In armour bright, the merchant men.
Official moments of the guild
In poses keen from bygone days
The city fathers frozen there
Upon the canvas dark with age.
The smell of paint, a flask of wine
And turn those faces all to me
The blunderbuss and halberd-shaft
And Dutch respectability.
They make their entrance one by one
Defenders of that way of life
The redbrick home, the bourgeoisie
Guitar lessons for the wife.
So many years we suffered here
Our country racked with Spanish wars
Now comes a chance to find ourselves
And quiet reigns behind our doors
We think about posterity again.
And so the pride of little men
The burghers good and true
Still living through the painter's hand
Request you all to understand