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Middle English Lyrics: The Agincourt Carol


Manuscript illumination of the Battle of Agincourt

The Agincourt Carol
Bodleian Library MS Arch. Selden B. 26.

[This song was composed when King Henry V and his troops returned to
England from France, after their victory at the Battle of Agincourt, 1415]

Deo gratias anglia, redde pro victoria.

Owre kynge went forth to Normandy,
With grace and myght of chyvalry;
Ther God for hym wrought mervlusly,
Wherfore Englonde may calle and cry,
Deo gratias,
Deo gratias anglia, redde pro victoria.


He sette a sege, for sothe to say,
To Harflu toune with ryal aray;
That toune he wan and made a fray,
That Fraunce shall rewe tyl domesday.
Deo gratias, &c.

Then went owre kynge, with alle his oste,
Thorowe Fraunce for all the Frenshe boste;
He spared for drede of leste, ne most,
Tyl he come to Agincourt coste;
Deo gratias, &c.

Than for sothe that knyght comely,
In Agincourt feld he faught manly;
Thorow grace of God most myghty
He had bothe the felde, and the victory;
Deo gratias, &c.

Ther dukys, and erlys, lorde and barone,
Were take and slayne, and that wel sone,
And som were ledde in to Lundone
With joye, and merthe, and grete renone;
Deo gratias, &c.

Now gratious God he save owre kynge,
His peple and all his welwyllynge,
Gef him gode lyfe and gode endynge,
That we with merth mowe savely synge;
Deo gratias, &c.

[after 1415]


Deo gratias... - Give thanks to God, England,
                                for the victory.
sege - siege
Harflu - Harfleur
ryal - royal
rewe - rue, grieve, regret
oste - host
mowe - may
savely - safely




Audio Excerpt from the CD
Gossiana: A 1920s Anthology of Song

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->Manuscript of the Agincourt Song, Bodleian MS. Arch. Selden B. 26, ff. 17v-18r.
->Sheet Music from Old English Popular Music
->Sheet Music from Pictorial History of England
->Sheet music (.PDF) - Jennifer Friedman
->History of the Agincourt Song - William Chappell




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