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Heimskringla

The Chronicle of The Kings of Norway

Part 23 - Of Earl Eirik

When Earl Eirik had ruled over Norway for twelve years. there came a message to him from his brother-in-law King Canute, the Danish king, that he should go with him on an expedition westward to England; for Eirik was very celebrated for his campaigns, as he had gained the victory in the two hardest engagements which had ever been fought in the north countries. The one was that in which the Earls Hakon and Eirik fought with the Jomsborg vikings; the other that in which Earl Eirik fought with King Olaf Trygvason.

Thord Kolbeinson speaks of this: —

"A song of praise
Again I raise.
To the earl bold
The word is told,
That Knut the Brave
His aid would crave;
The earl, I knew,
To friend stands true."

The earl would not sleep upon the message of the king, but sailed immediately out of the country, leaving behind his son Earl Hakon to take care of Norway; and, as he was but seventeen years of age, Einar Tambaskelfer was to be at his hand to rule the country for him.

Eirik met King Canute in England, and was with him when he took the castle of London. Earl Eirik had a battle also to the westward of the castle of London, and killed Ulfkel Snilling.

So says Thord Kolbeinson: —

"West of London town we passed,
And our ocean-steeds made fast,
And a bloody fight begin,
Eng1and's lands to lose or win.
Blue sword and shining spear
Laid Ulfkel's dead corpse there,
Our Thingmen hear the war-shower sounding
Our grey arrows from their shields rebounding."

Earl Eirik was a winter in England, and had many battles there. The following autumn he intended to make a pilgrimage to Rome, but he died in England of a bloody flux.

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