"Harald the Stern ne'er allowed Peace to his foemen, false and proud; In eighteen battles, fought and won, The valour of the Norseman shone. The king, before his home return, Oft dyed the bald head of the erne With bloody specks, and o'er the waste The sharp-claw'd wolf his footsteps traced."
10. HARALD'S EXPEDITION TO PALESTINE.
Harald went with his men to the land of Jerusalem and then up to the city of Jerusalem, and wheresoever he came in the land all the towns and strongholds were given up to him. So says the skald Stuf, who had heard the king himself relate these tidings: --
"He went, the warrior bold and brave, Jerusalem, the holy grave, And the interior of the land, To bring under the Greeks' command; And by the terror of his name Under his power the country came, Nor needed wasting fire and sword To yield obediance to his word."
Here it is told that this land came without fire and sword under Harald's command. He then went out to Jordan and bathed therein, according to the custom of other pilgrims. Harald gave great gifts to our Lord's grave, to the Holy Cross, and other holy relics in the land of Jerusalem. He also cleared the whole road all the way out to Jordan, by killing the robbers and other disturbers of the peace. So says the skald Stuf: --
"The Agder king cleared far and wide Jordan's fair banks on either side; The robber-bands before him fled, And his great name was widely spread. The wicked people of the land Were punished here by his dread hand, And they hereafter will not miss Much worse from Jesus Christ than this."
Thereafter he went back to Constantinople. When Harald returned to Constantinople from Jerusalem he longed to return to the North to his native land; and when he heard that Magnus Olafson, his brother's son, had become king both of Norway and Denmark, he gave up his command in the Greek service. And when the empress Zoe heard of this she became angry and raised an accusation against Harald that he had misapplied the property of the Greek emperor which he had received in the campaigns in which he was commander of the army. There was a young and beautiful girl called Maria, a brother's daughter of the empress Zoe, and Harald had paid his addresses to her; but the empress had given him a refusal. The Varings, who were then in pay in Constantinople, have told here in the North that there went a report among well-informed people that the empress Zoe herself wanted Harald for her husband, and that she chiefly blamed Harald for his determination to leave Constantinople, although another reason was given out to the public. Constantinus Monomachus was at that time emperor of the Greeks and ruled along with Zoe. On this account the Greek emperor had Harald made prisoner and carried to prison.
14. KING OLAF'S MIRACLE AND BLINDING THE GREEK EMPEROR.