King Magnus got Margaret, King Inge's daughter, as above related; and she was sent from Svithjod to Norway with an honourable retinue. King Magnus had some children before, whose names shall here be given. The one of his sons who was of a mean mother was called Eystein; the other, who was a year younger, was called Sigurd, and his mother's name was Thora.
Olaf was the name of a third son, who was much younger than the two first mentioned, and whose mother was Sigrid, a daughter of Saxe of Vik, who was a respectable man in the Throndhjem country; she was the king's concubine.
People say that when King Magnus came home from his viking cruise to the Western countries, he and many of his people brought with them a great deal of the habits and fashion of clothing of those western parts. They went about on the streets with bare legs, and had short kirtles and over-cloaks; and therefore his men called him Magnus Barefoot or Bareleg. Some called him Magnus the Tall, others Magnus the Strife-lover.
He was distinguished among other men by his tall stature. The mark of his height is put down in Mary church, in the merchant town of Nidaros, which King Harald built. In the northern door there were cut into the wall three crosses, one for Harald's stature, one for Olaf's, and one for Magnus's; and which crosses each of them could with the greatest ease kiss.
The upper was Harald's cross; the lowest was Magnus's; and Olaf's was in the middle, about equally distant from both.
It is said that Magnus composed the following verses about the emperor's daughter: —
"The ring of arms where blue swords gleam,
The battle-shout, the eagle's scream,
The Joy of war, no more can please:
Matilda is far o'er the seas.
My sword may break, my shield be cleft,
Of land or life I may be reft;
Yet I could sleep, but for one care, —
One, o'er the seas, with light-brown hair."
He also composed the following: —
"The time that breeds delay feels long,
The skald feels weary of his song;
What sweetens, brightens, eases life?
'Tis a sweet-smiling lovely wife.
My time feels long in Thing affairs,
In Things my loved one ne'er appears.
The folk full-dressed, while I am sad,
Talk and oppose — can I be glad?"
When King Magnus heard the friendly words the emperor's daughter had spoken about him — that she had said such a man as King Magnus was appeared to her an excellent man, he composed the following: —
"The lover hears, — across the sea,
A favouring word was breathed to me.
The lovely one with light-brown hair
May trust her thoughts to senseless air;
Her thoughts will find like thoughts in me;
And though my love I cannot see,
Affection's thoughts fly in the wind,
And meet each other, true and kind."