Sigvat the skald had gone to Rome, where he was at the time of the battle of Stiklestad.
He was on his way back from the South when he heard tidings of King O1af's fall, which gave him great grief. He then sang these lines: --
"One morning early on a hill, The misty town asleep and still, Wandering I thought upon the fields. Strewed o'er with broken mail and shields, Where our king fell, -- our kind good king, Where now his happy youthful spring? My father too! -- for Thord was then One of the good king's chosen men."
One day Sigvat went through a village, and heard a husband lamenting grievously over the loss of his wife, striking his breast, tearing his clothes, weeping bitterly, and saying he wanted to die; and Sigvat sang these lines: --
"This poor man mourns a much-loved wife, Gladly would he be quit of life. Must love be paid for by our grief? The price seems great for joy so brief. But the brave man who knows no fear Drops for his king a silent tear, And feels, perhaps, his loss as deep As those who clamour when they weep."
Sigvat came home to Norway to the Throndhjem country, where he had a farm and children. He came from the South along the coast in a merchant vessel, and as they lay in Hillarsund they saw a great many ravens flying about. Then Sigvat said: --
"I see here many a croaking raven Flying about the well-known haven: When Olaf's ship was floating here, They knew that food for them was near; When Olaf's ship lay here wind-bound, Oft screamed the erne o'er Hillar sound, Impatient for the expected prey, And wont to follow to the fray."
When Sigvat came north to the town of Throndhjem King Svein was there before him. He invited Sigvat to stay with him, as Sigvat had formerly been with his father King Canute the Great; but Sigvat said he would first go home to his farm. One day, as Sigvat was walking in the street, he saw the king's men at play, and he sang: --