16. OF THE THREATS OF THE BONDES.
King Magnus added to his property Veggia, which Hrut had been owner of, and Kviststad, which had belonged to Thorgeir, and also Eggja, with all the goods which Kalf had left behind him; and thus he confiscated to the king's estate many great farms, which had belonged to those of the bonde-army who had fallen at Stiklestad. In like manner, he laid heavy fined upon many of those who made the greatest opposition to King Olaf. He drove some out of the country, took large sums of money from others, and had the cattle of others slaughtered for his use. Then the bondes began to murmur, and to say among themselves, "Will he go on in the same way as his father and other chiefs, whom we made an end of when their pride and lawless proceedings became insupportable?" This discontent spread widely through the country. The people of Sogn gathered men, and, it was said, were determined to give battle to King Magnus, if he came into the Fjord district. King Magnus was then in Hordaland, where he had remained a long time with a numerous retinue, and was now come to the resolution to proceed north to Sogn. When the king's friends observed this, twelve men had a meeting, and resolved to determine by casting lots which of them should inform the king of the discontent of the people; and it so happened that the lot fell upon Sigvat.
17. OF THE FREE-SPEAKING SONG ("BERSOGLISVISUR").
Sigvat accordingly composed a poem, which he called the "Free- speaking Song", which begins with saying the king had delayed too long to pacify the people, who were threatening to rise in tumult against him. He said: --
"Here in the south, from Sogn is spread The news that strife draws to a head: The bondes will the king oppose -- Kings and their folk should ne'er be foes. Let us take arms, and briskly go To battle, if it must be so; Defend our king -- but still deplore His land plunged in such strife once more."
In this song are also these verses: --
"Hakon. who at Fitiar died, -- Hakon the Good, could not abide The viking rule. or robber train, And all men's love he thus did gain. The people since have still in mind The laws of Hakon, just and kind; And men will never see the day When Hakon's laws have passed away.
"The bondes ask but what is fair; The Olafs and the Earls, when there Where Magnus sits, confirmed to all Their lands and gear -- to great and small, Bold Trygve's son, and Harald's heir, The Olafs, while on earth they were, Observed the laws themselves had made, And none was for his own afraid.