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The Capture of the Five Boroughs

Part of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle entry for 942, the poem describes how King Edmund freed the five buroughs

of Leicester, Lincoln, Nottingham, Stamford and Derby from the Danelaw.

Her Eadmund cyning,
Engla þeoden,
mæcgea mundbora,
Myrce geeode,
dyre dædfruma,
swa Dor scadeþ,
and Humbra ea,
brada brimstream.
Burga fife,
and Lincylene
and Snotingaham,
swylce Stanford eac
and Deoraby.
Dæne wæran æror
under Norðmannum
nyde gebegde
on hæþenra
lange þrage,
oþ hie alysde eft
for his weorþscipe
wiggendra hleo,
afera Eadweardes,
Eadmund cyning.

King Edmund,
lord of the English,
protector of kinsmen,
overcame Mercia,
doer of necessary deeds
as far as Dore
and Whitwell Gap
to the wide Humber’s
rapid sea-stream,
seizing back
the five boroughs—
and Derby, too—
those dwelling there
bowed by need
under the Norsemen’s
heathen yoke, until,
to his honour, the brave
Edmund, Edward’s son
broke the oppressor’s
brutish chains
and freed from their foes
God-fearing Danes.

The Capture of the Five Boroughs

by Anon | Read by Michael D. C. Drout

The text of the poem in MS A of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle (f. 27r).
image: Wikimedia