and drink to Jad-ben-Otho, their pagan deity. Under the
There was a great slaughter, and after the battle the field was covered with the Swedes slain, and King Inge escaped by flight. King Magnus gained a great victory. Then came Giparde riding down from the country, and people did not speak well of him for not being in the fight. He went away, and proceeded westward to England; and the voyage was stormy, and Giparde lay in bed. There was an Iceland man called Eldjarn, who went to bale out the water in the ship's hold, and when he saw where Giparde was lying he made this verse: --
"Does it beseem a courtman bold Here to be dozing in the hold? The bearded knight should danger face: The leak gains on our ship apace. Here, ply this bucket! bale who can; We need the work of every man. Our sea-horse stands full to the breast, -- Sluggards and cowards must not rest."
When they came west to England, Giparde said the Northmen had slandered him. A meeting was appointed, and a count came to it, and the case was brought before him for trial. He said he was not much acquainted with law cases, as he was but young, and had only been a short time in office; and also, of all things, he said what he least understood to judge about was poetry. "But let us hear what it was." Then Eldjarn sang: --
"I heard that in the bloody fight Giparde drove all our foes to flight: Brave Giparde would the foe abide, While all our men ran off to hide. At Foxerne the fight was won By Giparde's valour all alone; Where Giparde fought, alone was he; Not one survived to fight or flee."
Then said the count, "Although I know but little about skald- craft, I can hear that this is no slander, but rather the highest praise and honour." Giparde could say nothing against it, yet he felt it was a mockery.
The spring after, as soon as the ice broke up, King Magnus, with a great army, sailed eastwards to the Gaut river, and went up the eastern arm of it, laying waste all that belonged to the Swedish dominions. When they came to Foxerne they landed from their vessels; but as they came over a river on their way an army of Gautland people came against them, and there was immediately a great battle, in which the Northmen were overwhelmed by numbers, driven to flight, and many of them killed near to a waterfall. King Magnus fled, and the Gautlanders pursued, and killed those they could get near. King Magnus was easily known. He was a very stout man, and had a red short cloak over him, and bright yellow hair like silk that fell over his shoulders. Ogmund Skoptason, who was a tall and handsome man, rode on one side of the king. He said, "Sire, give me that cloak."
The king said, "What would you do with it?"
"I would like to have it," said Ogmund; "and you have given me greater gifts, sire."