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Heimskringla

The Chronicle of The Kings of Norway

Part 50 - Olaf's And Sigurd's Consultation

When King Olaf and his men saw that the earl had gathered his ships together, Sigurd Syr was in haste for pursuing the earl, and letting steel decide their cause. But King Olaf replies, that he would first see what the earl intended doing — whether he would keep his force together or discharge his fleet.

Sigurd Syr said,

"It is for thee, king, to command; but,"

he adds,

"I fear, from thy disposition and wilfulness, that thou wilt some day be betrayed by trusting to those great people, for they are accustomed of old to bid defiance to their sovereigns."

There was no attack made, for it was soon seen that the earl's fleet was dispersing. Then King Olaf ransacked the slain, and remained there some days to divide the booty.

At that time Sigvat made these verses: —

"The tale I tell is true
To their homes returned but few
Of Svein's men who came to meet
King Olaf's gallant fleet.
From the North these warmen came
To try the bloody game, —
On the waves their corpses borne
Show the game that Sunday morn.
The Throndhjem girls so fair
Their jeers, I think, will spare,
For the king's force was but small
That emptied Throndhjem's hall.
But if they will have their jeer,
They may ask their sweethearts dear,
Why they have returned shorn
Who went to shear that Sunday morn."

And also these: —

"Now will the king's power rise,
For the Upland men still prize
The king who o'er the sea
Steers to bloody victory.
Earl Svein! thou now wilt know
That our lads can make blood flow —
That the Hedemarkers hale
Can do more than tap good ale."

King Olaf gave his stepfather King Sigurd Syr, and the other chiefs who had assisted him, handsome presents at parting. He gave Ketil of Ringanes a yacht of fifteen benches of rowers, which Ketil brought up the Raum river and into the Mjosen lake.

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