The combat became fierce, and the king went forward in the fray. So says Sigvat: --
"When on they came in fierce array, And round the king arose the fray, With shield on arm brave Olaf stood, Dyeing his sword in their best blood. For vengeance on his Throndhjem foes, On their best men he dealt his blows; He who knew well death's iron play, To his deep vengeance gave full sway."
239. THORGEIR OF KVISTSTAD'S FALL.
King Olaf fought most desperately. He struck the lenderman before mentioned (Thorgeir of Kviststad) across the face, cut off the nose-piece of his helmet, and clove his head down below the eyes so that they almost fell out. When he fell the king said, "Was it not true, Thorgeir, what I told thee, that thou shouldst not be victor in our meeting?" At the same instant Thord stuck the banner-pole so fast in the earth that it remained standing. Thord had got his death-wound, and fell beneath the banner. There also fell Thorfin Mun, and also Gissur Gullbrarskald, who was attacked by two men, of whom he killed one, but only wounded the other before he fell. So says Hofgardaref: --
"Bold in the Iron-storm was he, Firm and stout as forest tree, The hero who, 'gainst two at once, Made Odin's fire from sword-edge glance; Dealing a death-blow to the one, Known as a brave and generous man, Wounding the other, ere he fell, -- His bloody sword his deeds showed well."
It happened then, as before related, that the sun, although the air was clear, withdrew from the sight, and it became dark. Of this Sigvat the skald speaks: --
"No common wonder in the sky Fell out that day -- the sun on high, And not a cloud to see around, Shone not, nor warmed Norway's ground. The day on which fell out this fight Was marked by dismal dusky light, This from the East I heard -- the end Of our great king it did portend."
At the same time Dag Hringson came up with his people, and began to put his men in array, and to set up his banner; but on account of the darkness the onset could not go on so briskly, for they could not see exactly whom they had before them. They turned, however, to that quarter where the men of Hordaland and Rogaland stood. Many of these circumstances took place at the same time, and some happened a little earlier, and some a little later.