The Wilhelmus has been the Dutch national anthem since May 10th 1932. Until then "Wien Neerlands Bloed", by H. Tollens, was the official national anthem. But even before 1932 the Wilhelmus was used on official occasions, like the coronation of Queen Wilhelmina in 1898.

On official occasions usually only the first and sixth verse are sung. The first is known by most people, for obvious reasons. The sixth is a verse with more of a christian overtone. The first letters of the fifteen verses form the name "Willem van Nassov", one of the first in the Dutch royal line.

The Wilhelmus was written by Philip van Marnix (1538-1598) as an ode to Prince Willem I van Oranje, who was the leader of the resistance against the Spanish oppressor at the time.

On translation: I have purposely chosen not to translate the names mentioned before. I abhor the translation of names, and I'm sure you can make out who I mean. The full text to the Wilhelmus which appears below is the original one. In old Dutch. So if you're breaking your head on it while trying to understand it, never mind. I have trouble understanding some of it too. Most of the text above was taken and translated from with a few extra additions, omissions, paraphrasings, and what not. The original documents on which the above text was based were written by the RVD (Rijksvoorlichtingsdienst).

Wilhelmus van Nassouwe
Ben ick van Duytschen Bloedt,
Den Vaderland ghetrouwe
Blijf ick tot inden doet;
Een Prince van Orangien
Ben ick vry onverveert.
Den Coninck van Hispangien
Heb ick altijt gheeert.

In Godes vrees te leven
Heb ick altijt betracht,
Daerom ben ick verdreven
Om Land, om Luyd ghebracht:
Maer Godt sal my regeren
Als een goet Instrument,
Dat ick sal wederkeeren
In mijnen Regiment.

Lijdt U, mijn Ondersaten,
Die oprecht zijn 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.

Lijf ende goed al te samen
Heb ick u niet verschoont,
Mijn Broeders, hooch van Namen,
Hebbent u oock vertoont:
Graef Adolff is ghebleven,
In Vrieslandt in den Slach,
Sijn siel int eewich leven
Verwacht den jonghsten dach.

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 zonder vreesen
Mijn edel bloet gewaecht.

Mijn schilt ende betrouwen
Zijt ghy, O Godt, mijn Heer.
Op U soo wil ick bouwen,
Verlaet my nimmermeer;
Dat ick doch vroom mag blijven
U dienaer t'aller stond
Die tyranny verdrijven,
Die my mijn hert doorwondt.

Val al die my beswaren,
End mijn vervolghers zijn,
Mijn Godt wilt doch bewaren
Den trouwen dienaer dijn:
Dat sy my niet verasschen
In haeren boosen moet,
Haer handen niet en wasschen
In mijn onschuldich bloet.

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 Coninckrijck ghegheven
In Israël, seer groot.

Na tsuer sal ick ontfanghen
Van Godt, mijn Heer, dat soet,
Daer na so doet verlanghen
Mijn vorstelick ghemoet,
Dat is, dat ick mag sterven
Met eeren, in dat velt,
Een eeuwich rijk verwerven
Als een ghetrouwe helt.

Niet doet my meer erbarmen
In mijnen wederspoet,
Dan dat men siet verarmen
Des Conincks landen goet,
Dat ud de Spaengiaerts crencken,
O edel Neerlandt soet,
Als ick daeraen ghedencke,
Mijn edel hert dat bloet.

Als een Prins opgheseten
Met mijnes heyres cracht,
Van den tyran vermeten
Heb ick den slach verwacht,
Die, by Maestricht begraven,
Bevreesde mijn ghewelt;
Mijn ruyters sach men draven
Seer moedich door dat velt.

Soo het den wil des Heeren
Op die tijt had gheweest,
Had ick geern willen keeren
Van u dit swaer tempeest:
Maer de Heer van hier boven
Die alle dinck regeert,
Die men altijt moet loven,
En heeftet niet begeert.

Seer christlick 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 oircont.

Oorlof mijn arme schapen,
Die zijt in grooten noot.
U Herder sal niet slapen,
Al zijt ghy nu verstroit:
Tot Godt wilt u begheven,
Sijn heylsaem woort neemt aen,
Als vrome Christen leven,
Tsal hier haest zijn ghedaen.

Voor Godt wil ick belijden
End sijner grooter macht,
Dat ick tot gheenen tijden
Den Coninck heb veracht:
Dan dat ick Godt den Heere,
Der hoochster Majesteyt,
Heb moeten obedieren,
In der gherechticheyt.

Following is a translation of the National Anthem of The Netherlands, as published by the Netherlands Government Information Service (Rijksvoorlichtingsdienst, RVD). The translation maintains the acrostic (i.e. the first letters of each verse spell out William of Nassau); a tribute to Prince William I of Orange.

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

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.

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.

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.

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

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 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.

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.

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 honour
Encounter death in war
And meet in heaven my Donor
His faithful warrior.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 Jesu
This life will not endure.

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.

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