The Night Watch

Shine, shine, the light of good works shineThe watch before the city gates depicted in their primeThat golden light all grimy nowThree hundred years have passedThe worthy captain and his squad of troopers standing fastThe artist knew their faces wellThe husbands of his lady friendsHis creditors and councillorsIn armour bright, the merchant menOfficial moments of the guildIn poses keen from bygone daysThe city fathers frozen thereUpon the canvas dark with ageThe smell of paint, a flask of wineAnd turn those faces all to meThe blunderbuss and halberd-shaftAnd dutch respectabilityThey make their entrance one by oneDefenders of that way of lifeThe redbrick home, the bourgeoisieGuitar lessons for the wifeSo many years we suffered hereOur country racked with spanish warsNow comes a chance to find ourselvesAnd quiet reigns behind our doorsWe think about posterity againAnd so the pride of little menThe burghers good and trueStill living through the painter’s handRequest you all to understand

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