The king said to Aslak, "May all ill luck attend thee for that stroke; for thou hast struck Norway out of my hands."
Aslak replied, "It is bad enough if that stroke displease thee, for I thought it was striking Norway into thy hands; and if I have given thee offence, sire, by this stroke, and have thy ill- will for it, it will go badly with me, for I will get so many men's ill-will and enmity for this deed that I would need all your protection and favour."
The king replied that he should have it.
Thereafter the king ordered every man to return to his ship, and to get ready to depart as fast as he could. "We will not plunder the slain," says he, "and each man may keep what he has taken." The men returned to the ships and prepared themselves for the departure as quickly as possible; and scarcely was this done before the vessels of the bondes ran in from the south into the sound. It went with the bonde-army as is often seen, that the men, although many in numbers, know not what to do when they have experienced a check, have lost their chief, and are without leaders. None of Erling's sons were there, and the bondes therefore made no attack, and the king sailed on his way northwards. But the bondes took Erling's corpse, adorned it, and carried it with them home to Sole, and also the bodies of all who had fallen. There was great lamentation over Erling; and it has been a common observation among people, that Erling Skjalgson was the greatest and worthiest man in Norway of those who had no high title. Sigvat made these verses upon the occasion: --
"Thus Erling fell -- and such a gain To buy with such a loss was vain; For better man than he ne'er died, And the king's gain was small beside. In truth no man I ever knew Was, in all ways, so firm and true; Free from servility and pride, Honoured by all, yet thus he died."
Sigvat also says that Aslak had very unthinkingly committed this murder of his own kinsman: --
"Norway's brave defender's dead! Aslak has heaped on his own head The guilt of murdering his own kin: May few be guilty of such sin! His kinsman's murder on him lies -- Our forefathers, in sayings wise, Have said, what is unknown to few, `Kinsmen to kinsmen should be true.'"
187. OF THE INSURRECTION OF AGDER DISTRICT.