"The king himself now proved the power Of Fin-folk's craft in magic hour, With magic song; for stroke of steel Thor's reindeer coat would never feel, Bewitched by them it turned the stroke Of the king's sword, -- a dust-like smoke Rose from Thor's shoulders from the blow Which the king though would end his foe."
Thorer struck at the king, and they exchanged some blows; but the king's sword would not cut where it met the reindeer skin, although Thorer was wounded in the hands. Sigvat sang thus of it: --
"Some say that Thorer's not right bold; Why never yet have I been told Of one who did a bolder thing Than to change blows with his true king. Against his king his sword to wield, Leaping across the shield on shield Which fenced the king round in the fight, Shows the dog's (1) courage -- brave, not bright."
The king said to Bjorn the marshal, "Do thou kill the dog on whom steel will not bite." Bjorn turned round the axe in his hands, and gave Thorer a blow with the hammer of it on the shoulder so hard that he tottered. The king at the same moment turned against Kalf and his relations, and gave Olaf his death-wound. Thorer Hund struck his spear right through the body of Marshal Bjorn, and killed him outright; and Thorer said, "It is thus we hunt the bear." (2) Thorstein Knarrarsmid struck at King Olaf with his axe, and the blow hit his left leg above the knee. Fin Arnason instantly killed Thorstein. The king after the wound staggered towards a stone, threw down his sword, and prayed God to help him. Then Thorer Hund struck at him with his spear, and the stroke went in under his mail-coat and into his belly. Then Kalf struck at him on the left side of the neck. But all are not agreed upon Kalf having been the man who gave him the wound in the neck. These three wounds were King Olaf's death; and after the king's death the greater part of the forces which had advanced with him fell with the king. Bjarne Gullbrarskald sang these verses about Kalf Arnason: --
"Warrior! who Olaf dared withstand, Who against Olaf held the land, Thou hast withstood the bravest, best, Who e'er has gone to his long rest. At Stiklestad thou wast the head; With flying banners onwards led Thy bonde troops, and still fought on, Until he fell -- the much-mourned one."
Sigvat also made these verses on Bjorn: --
"The marshal Bjorn, too, I find, A great example leaves behind, How steady courage should stand proof, Though other servants stand aloof. To Russia first his steps he bent, To serve his master still intent; And now besides his king he fell, -- A noble death for skalds to tell."
ENDNOTES: (1) Thorer's name was Hund -- the dog; and a play upon Thorer Hund's name was intended by the skald. -- L. (2) Bjorn, the marshal's name, signifies a bear. -- L.