Here it appears how hot the battle was with casting weapons. King Magnus stood in the beginning of the battle within a shield- rampart; but as it appeared to him that matters were going on too slowly, he leaped over the shields, and rushed forward in the ship, encouraging his men with a loud cheer, and springing to the bows, where the battle was going on hand to hand. When his men saw this they urged each other on with mutual cheering, and there was one great hurrah through all the ships. So says Thiodolf: --
"`On with our ships! on to the foe!' Cry Magnus' men -- on, on they go. Spears against shields in fury rattle, -- Was never seen so fierce a battle."
And now the battle was exceedingly sharp; and in the assault Svein's ship was cleared of all her forecastle men, upon and on both sides of the forecastle. Then Magnus boarded Svein's ship, followed by his men; and one after the other came up, and made so stout an assault that Svein's men gave way, and King Magnus first cleared that ship, and then the rest, one after the other. Svein fled, with a great part of his people; but many fell, and many got life and peace. Thiodolf tells of this: --
"Brave Magnus, from the stern springing On to the stem, where swords were ringing From his sea-raven's beak of gold Deals death around -- the brave! the bold! The earl's housemen now begin To shrink and fall: their ranks grow thin -- The king's luck thrives -- their decks are cleared, Of fighting men no more appeared. The earl's ships are driven to flight, Before the king would stop the fight: The gold-distributor first then Gave quarters to the vanquished men."
This battle was fought on the last Sunday before Yule. So says Thiodolf: --
"'Twas on a Sunday morning bright, Fell out this great and bloody fight, When men were arming, fighting, dying, Or on the red decks wounded lying. And many a mabn, foredoomed to die, To save his life o'erboard did fly, But sank; for swimming could not save, And dead men rolled in every wave."
Magnus took seven ships from Svein's people. So says Thiodolf: --
"Thick Olaf's son seven vessels cleared, And with his fleet the prizes steered. The Norway girls will not be sad To hear such news -- each from her lad."