Harald, son of Sigurd Syr, brother of Olaf the Saint, by the same mother, was at the battle of Stiklestad, and was fifteen years old when King Olaf the Saint fell, as was before related. Harald was wounded, and escaped with other fugitives. So says Thiodolf: --
"At Haug the fire-sparks from his shield Flew round the king's head on the field, As blow for blow, for Olaf's sake, His sword and shield would give and take. Bulgaria's conqueror, I ween, Had scarcely fifteen winters seen, When from his murdered brother's side His unhelmed head he had to hide."
Ragnvald Brusason led Harald from the battle, and the night after the fray took him to a bonde who dwelt in a forest far from other people. The peasant received Harald, and kept him concealed; and Harald was waited upon until he was quite cured of his wounds. Then the bonde's son attended him on the way east over the ridge of the land, and they went by all the forest paths they could, avoiding the common road. The bonde's son did not know who it was he was attending; and as they were riding together between two uninhabited forests, Harald made these verses:
"My wounds were bleeding as I rode; And down below the bondes strode, Killing the wounded with the sword, The followers of their rightful lord. From wood to wood I crept along, Unnoticed by the bonde-throng; `Who knows,' I thought, `a day may come My name will yet be great at home.'"
He went eastward over the ridge through Jamtaland and Helsingjaland, and came to Svithjod, where he found Ragnvald Brusason, and many others of King Olaf's men who had fled from the battle at Stiklestad, and they remained there till winter was over.
2. HARALD'S JOURNEY TO CONSTANTINOPLE.
The spring after (A.D. 1031) Harald and Ragnvald got ships, and went east in summer to Russia to King Jarisleif, and were with him all the following winter. So says the skald Bolverk: --
"The king's sharp sword lies clean and bright, Prepared in foreign lands to fight: Our ravens croak to have their fill, The wolf howls from the distant hill. Our brave king is to Russia gone, -- Braver than he on earth there's none; His sharp sword will carve many feast To wolf and raven in the East."