The lendermen urged their men, and forced them to advance. Sigvat speaks of this: --
"Midst in their line their banner flies, Thither the stoutest bonde hies: But many a bonde thinks of home, And many wish they ne'er had come."
Then the bonde-army pushed on from all quarters. They who stood in front hewed down with their swords; they who stood next thrust with their spears; and they who stood hindmost shot arrows, cast spears, or threw stones, hand-axes, or sharp stakes. Soon there was a great fall of men in the battle. Many were down on both sides. In the first onset fell Arnljot Gelline, Gauka-Thorer, and Afrafaste, with all their men, after each had killed a man or two, and some indeed more. Now the ranks in front of the king's banner began to be thinned, and the king ordered Thord to carry the banner forward, and the king himself followed it with the troop he had chosen to stand nearest to him in battle; and these were the best armed men in the field, and the most expert in the use of their weapons. Sigvat the skald tells of this: --
"Loud was the battle-storm there, Where the king's banner flamed in air. The king beneath his banner stands, And there the battle he commands."
Olaf came forth from behind the shield-bulwark, and put himself at the head of the army; and when the bondes looked him in the face they were frightened, and let their hands drop. So says Sigvat: --
"I think I saw them shrink with fear Who would not shrink from foeman's spear, When Olaf's lion-eye was cast On them, and called up all the past. Clear as the serpent's eye -- his look No Throndhjem man could stand, but shook Beneath its glance, and skulked away, Knowing his king, and cursed the day."
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."