Thereafter King Magnus gathered together a great army, and summoned to him all lendermen and powerful bondes, and collected war-ships. When the army was assembled it was very handsome, and well fitted out. He had seventy large vessels when he sailed from Norway. So says Thiodolf the skald: --
"Brave king! the terror of the foe, With thee will many a long-ship go. Full seventy sail are gathered here, Eastward with their great king to steer. And southward now the bright keel glides; O'er the white waves the Bison rides. Sails swell, yards crack, the highest mast O'er the wide sea scarce seen at last."
Here it related that King Magnus had the great Bison, which his father King Olaf had built. It had more than thirty banks of rowers; and forward on the bow was a great buffalo head, and aft on the stern-post was its tail. Both the head and the tail, and both sides of the ship, were gilded over. Of this speaks Arnor, the earls' skald: --
"The white foam lashing o'er the deck Oft made the glided head to shake; The helm down, the vessel's heel Oft showed her stem's bright-glacing steel. Around Stavanger-point careering, Through the wild sea's white flames steering, Tackle loud singing to the strain, The storm-horse flies to Denmark's plain."
King Magnus set out to sea from Agder, and sailed over to Jutland. So says Arnor: --
"I can relate how through the gale The gallant Bison carried sail. With her lee gunwale in the wave, The king on board, Magnus the brave! The iron-clad Thingmen's chief to see On Jutland's coast right glad were we, -- Right glad our men to see a king Who in the fight his sword could swing."
21. KING MAGNUS COMES TO DENMARK.
When King Magnus came to Denmark he was joyfully received. He appointed a Thing without delay, to which he summoned the people of the country, and desired they would take him as king, according to the agreement which had been entered into. As the highest of the chiefs of the country were bound by oath to King Magnus, and were desirous of keeping their word and oath, they endeavoured zealously to promote the cause with the people. It contributed also that King Canute the Great, and all his descendants, were dead; and a third assistance was, that his father King Olaf's sanctity and miracles were become celebrated in all countries.