17. OF THE FREE-SPEAKING SONG ("BERSOGLISVISUR").
Sigvat accordingly composed a poem, which he called the "Free- speaking Song", which begins with saying the king had delayed too long to pacify the people, who were threatening to rise in tumult against him. He said: --
"Here in the south, from Sogn is spread The news that strife draws to a head: The bondes will the king oppose -- Kings and their folk should ne'er be foes. Let us take arms, and briskly go To battle, if it must be so; Defend our king -- but still deplore His land plunged in such strife once more."
In this song are also these verses: --
"Hakon. who at Fitiar died, -- Hakon the Good, could not abide The viking rule. or robber train, And all men's love he thus did gain. The people since have still in mind The laws of Hakon, just and kind; And men will never see the day When Hakon's laws have passed away.
"The bondes ask but what is fair; The Olafs and the Earls, when there Where Magnus sits, confirmed to all Their lands and gear -- to great and small, Bold Trygve's son, and Harald's heir, The Olafs, while on earth they were, Observed the laws themselves had made, And none was for his own afraid.
"Let not thy counsellors stir thy wrath Against the man who speaks the truth; Thy honour lies in thy good sword, But still more in thy royal word; And, if the people do not lie, The new laws turn out not nigh So Just and mild, as the laws given At Ulfasund in face of heaven.
"Dread king! who urges thee to break Thy pledged word, and back to take Thy promise given? Thou warrior bold; With thy own people word to hold, Thy promise fully to maintain, Is to thyself the greatest gain: The battle-storm raiser he Must by his own men trusted be.