"One day before I passed this way, When the king's guards were at their play, Something there was -- I need not tell -- That made me pale, and feel unwell. Perhaps it was I thought, just then, How noble Olaf with his men, In former days, I oft have seen In manly games upon this green."
Sigvat then went to his farm; and as he heard that many men upbraided him with having deserted King Olaf, he made these verses: --
"May Christ condemn me still to burn In quenchless fire, if I did turn, And leave King Olaf in his need, -- My soul is free from such base deed. I was at Rome, as men know well Who saw me there, and who can tell That there in danger I was then: The truth I need not hide from men."
Sigvat was ill at ease in his home. One day he went out and sang: --
"While Olaf lived, how smiled the land! Mountain and cliff, and pebbly strand. All Norway then, so fresh, so gay, On land or sea, where oft I lay. But now to me all seems so dready, All black and dull -- of life I'm weary; Cheerless to-day, cheerless to-morrow -- Here in the North we have great sorrow."
Early in winter Sigvat went westward over the ridge of the country to Jamtaland, and onwards to Helsingjaland, and came to Svithjod. He went immediately to Queen Astrid, and was with her a long time, and was a welcome guest. He was also with her brother King Emund, and received from him ten marks of proved silver, as is related in the song of Canute. Sigvat always inquired of the merchants who traded to Novgorod if they could tell him any news of Magnus Olafson. Sigvat composed these lines at that time: --
"I ask the merchant oft who drives His trade to Russia, `How he thrives, Our noble prince? How lives he there? And still good news -- his praise -- I hear. To little birds, which wing their way Between the lands, I fain would say, How much we long our prince to see, They seem to hear a wish from me."
10. OF KING MAGNUS'S FIRST ARRIVAL IN SVITHJOD.