"Brave Magnus, from the stern springing On to the stem, where swords were ringing From his sea-raven's beak of gold Deals death around -- the brave! the bold! The earl's housemen now begin To shrink and fall: their ranks grow thin -- The king's luck thrives -- their decks are cleared, Of fighting men no more appeared. The earl's ships are driven to flight, Before the king would stop the fight: The gold-distributor first then Gave quarters to the vanquished men."
This battle was fought on the last Sunday before Yule. So says Thiodolf: --
"'Twas on a Sunday morning bright, Fell out this great and bloody fight, When men were arming, fighting, dying, Or on the red decks wounded lying. And many a mabn, foredoomed to die, To save his life o'erboard did fly, But sank; for swimming could not save, And dead men rolled in every wave."
Magnus took seven ships from Svein's people. So says Thiodolf: --
"Thick Olaf's son seven vessels cleared, And with his fleet the prizes steered. The Norway girls will not be sad To hear such news -- each from her lad."
"The captured men will grieve the most Svein and their comrades to have lost; For it went ill with those who fled, Their wounded had no easy bed. A heavy storm that very night O'ertook them flying from the fight; And skulls and bones are tumbling round, Under the sea, on sandy ground."
Svein fled immediately by night to Seeland, with the men who had escaped and were inclined to follow him; but King Magnus brought his ships to the shore, and sent his men up the country in the night-time, and early in the morning they came flown to the strand with a great booty in cattle. Thiodolf tells about it: --
"But yesterday with heavy stones We crushed their skulls, and broke their bones, And thinned their ranks; and now to-day Up through their land we've ta'en our way, And driven their cattle to the shore, And filled out ships with food in store. To save his land from our quick swords, Svein will need something more than words."