"'Fore Michaelmas was struck the blow, That laid the Vindland vikings low; And people learned with joy to hear The clang of arms, and leaders' cheer. Short before Yule fell out the day, Southward of Aros, where the fray, Though not enough the foe to quell, Was of the bloodiest men can tell."
"Olaf's avenger who can sing? The skald cannot o'ertake the king, Who makes the war-bird daily drain The corpse-blood of his foemen slain. Four battles won within a year, -- Breaker of shields! with swords and spear, And hand to hand, exalt thy fame Above the kings of greatest name."
King Magnus had three battles with Svein Ulfson. So says Thiodolf: --
"To our brave Throndhjem sovereign's praise The skald may all his skaldcraft raise; For fortune, and for daring deed, His song will not the truth exceed. After three battles to regain What was his own, unjustly ta'en, Unjustly kept, and dues denied, He levied dues in red-blood dyed."
37. OF KING MAGNUS, AND THORFIN AND RAGNVALD, EARLS OF ORKNEY.
While King Magnus the Good, a son of King Olaf the Saint, ruled over Norway, as before related, the Earl Ragnvald Brusason lived with him. Earl Thorfin Sigurdson, the uncle of Ragnvald, ruled then over Orkney. King Magnus sent Ragnvald west to Orkney, and ordered that Thorfin should let him have his father's heritage. Thorfin let Ragnvald have a third part of the land along with him; for so had Erase, the father of Ragnvald, had it at his dying day. Earl Thorfin was married to Ingebjorg, the earl- mother, who was a daughter of Fin Arnason. Earl Ragnvald thought he should have two-thirds of the land, as Olaf the Saint had promised to his father Bruse, and as Bruse had enjoyed as long as Olaf lived. This was the origin of a great strife between these relations, concerning which we have a long saga. They had a great battle in Pentland Firth, in which Kalf Arnason was with Earl Thorfin. So says Bjarne Gullbrarskald: --
"Thy cutters, dashing through the tide, Brought aid to Earl Thorfin's side, Fin's son-in-law, and people say Thy aid made Bruse's son give way. Kalf, thou art fond of warlike toil, Gay in the strife and bloody broil; But here 'twas hate made thee contend Against Earl Ragnvald, the king's friend."
38. OF KING MAGNUS'S LETTER TO ENGLAND.