The Chronicle of The Kings of Norway

by Snorri Sturlson | c.1179-1241 | 320,198 words

The "Heimskringla" of Snorri Sturlason is a collection of sagas concerning the various rulers of Norway, from about A.D. 850 to the year A.D. 1177....

Part 28 - King Magnus The Good's Death

The kings, Magnus and Harald, sailed with their fleet south to Denmark; and when Svein heard of their approach, he fled away east to Scania. Magnus and Harald remained in Denmark late in summer, and subdued the whole country. In autumn they were in Jutland. One night, as King Magnus lay in his bed, it appeared to him in a dream that he was in the same place as his father, Saint Olaf, and that he spoke to him thus:

"Wilt thou choose, my son, to follow me, or to become a mighty king, and have long life; but to commit a crime which thou wilt never be able to expiate?"

He thought he made the answer,

"Do thou, father, choose for me."

Then the king thought the answer was,

"Thou shalt follow me."

King Magnus told his men this dream. Soon after he fell sick and lay at a place called Sudathorp. When he was near his death he sent his brother, Thorer, with tokens to Svein Ulfson, with the request to give Thorer the aid he might require. In this message King Magnus also gave the Danish dominions to Svein after his death; and said it was just that Harald should rule over Norway and Svein over Denmark. Then King Magnus the Good died (A.D. 1047), and great was the sorrow of all the people at his death.

So says Od Kikinaskald: —

"The tears o'er good King Magnus' bier,
The people's tears, were all sincere:
Even they to whom he riches gave
Carried him heavily to the grave.
All hearts were struck at the king's end;
His house-thralls wept as for a friend;
His court-men oft alone would muse,
As pondering o'er unthought of news."

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