‘The Capture of the Five Boroughs’ by Paul McLoughlin

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Below is an extract from Paul McLoughlin’s Breaking Ground: The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle Poems in Old English and in Translation, recently published by Paekakariki Press, London. The Old English version of ‘The Capture of the Five Boroughs’ is followed by Paul’s translation.

 


 

    The Capture of the Five Boroughs

 

AD 942

 

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

 
 
 

    The Capture of the Five Boroughs

 

AD 942

 

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—
Leicester,
Lincoln,
Nottingham,
Stamford,
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.

 
 

Paul McLoughlin

About Paul McLoughlin

Paul McLoughlin, born in London of Irish parents, has contributed interviews, essays and reviews to a number of poetry journals and magazines, and published five collections: 'What Certainty Is Like' (Smith Doorstop, 1998); and 'What Moves Moves' (2004), 'Forgetting To Come In' (2007), 'The Road To Murreigh' (2010) and 'The Hungarian Who Beat Brazil' (2017), all with Shoestring Press. He has also edited and written an introductory essay for 'Brian Jones: New & Selected Poems' (Shoestring Press, 2013) and published 'Breaking Ground: The Anglo-Saxon Poems in Old English and in Translation' with Paekakariki Press (2019).