Chapter 31 - Of Skallagrim's children.
Skallagrim and Bera had a great many children, but at first they all died. Then they had a son, who was sprinkled with water and named
Thorolf. As a child he soon grew to be tall and was fair of countenance. It was the talk of all that he would be just such another as Thorolf Kveldulf's son,
after whom he was named. Thorolf was far beyond children of his own age in strength. And as he grew to manhood he became doughty in most accomplishments then
in vogue among those who were well trained. Thorolf was of a right cheery mood. Early did he come to such full strength as to be deemed fit for warlike service
with other men. He was soon a favourite with all, and his father and mother loved him well. Skallagrim and his wife had two daughters; one was named Sæunn, the
other Thorunn. They also were of great promise as they grew up. Then Skallagrim and his wife had yet another son. He was sprinkled with water and named, and
his name was Egil. But as he grew up it was soon seen that he would be ill-favoured, like his father, with black hair. When but three years old he was as tall
and strong as other boys of six or seven. He was soon talkative and word-wise. Somewhat ill to manage was he when at play with other lads.
That spring, Yngvar went to Borg, his errand being to bid Skallagrim to a feast at his house, he also named for the party his daughter Bera and
Thorolf her son, and any others that Skallagrim liked to bring. Skallagrim promised to come. Yngvar then went home, prepared for the banquet, and had ale
brewed. But when the set time came that Skallagrim and Bera should go to the feast, Thorolf made him ready to go with them, as also some house-carles, so that
they were fifteen in all. Egil told his father that he wished to go.
'I am,' said he, 'as much akin to Yngvar as is Thorolf.'
'You shall not go,' said Skallagrim, 'for you know not how to behave yourself in company where there is much drinking, you who are not good to
deal with though you be sober.'
Then Skallagrim mounted his horse and rode away, but Egil was ill content with his lot.
He went out of the yard, and found a draught horse of Skallagrim's, got on its back and rode after Skallagrim's party. No easy way had he over
the moor, for he did not know the road; but he kept his eyes on the riders before him when copse or wood were not in the way. And this is to tell of his
journey, that late in the evening he came to Swan-ness, when men sat there a-drinking. He went into the room, but when Yngvar saw Egil he received him
joyfully, and asked why he had come so late. Egil told of his words with Skallagrim. Yngvar made Egil sit by him, they two sat opposite Skallagrim and Thorolf.
For merriment over their ale they fell to reciting staves. Then Egil recited a stave:
'Hasting I came to the hearth fire
Of Yngvar, right fain so to find him,
Him who on heroes bestoweth
Gold that the heather-worm guardeth.
Thou, of the snake's shining treasure
Always a generous giver,
Wilt not than me of three winters
Doughtier song-smith discover.'
Yngvar praised this stave, and thanked Egil much therefor, but on the morrow he brought to Egil as reward for the poem three sea-snail shells
and a duck's egg. And next day at the drinking Egil recited another stave about his poem's reward:
'The wielder of keen-biting wound-fowl
Gave unto Egil the talker
Three silent dogs of the surf-swell,
Meet for the praise in his poem.
He, the skilled guide of the sea-horse,
Knowing to please with a present,
Gave as fourth gift to young Egil
Round egg, the brook-bird's bed-bolster.'
Egil's poetry won him thanks from many men. No more tidings were there of that journey. Egil went home with Skallagrim.
31. kafli - Hér segir af börnum Skalla-Gríms.
Skalla-Grímr ok þau Bera áttu börn mjök mörg, ok var þat fyrst, at öll önduðust. Þá gátu þau son, ok var vatni ausinn ok hét Þórólfr. En er
hann fæddist upp, þá var hann snemma mikill vexti ok inn vænsti sýnum. Var þat allra manna mál, at hann myndi vera inn líkasti Þórólfi Kveld-Úlfssyni, er
hann var eftir heitinn. Þórólfr var langt um fram jafnaldra sína at afli. En er hann óx upp gerðist hann íþróttamaðr um flesta þá hluti, er þá var mönnum
títt at fremja, þeim er vel váru at sér gervir. Þórólfr var gleðimaðr mikill. Snemma var hann svá fullkominn at afli, at hann þótti vel liðfærr með öðrum
mönnum. Varð hann brátt vinsæll af alþýðu. Unni honum ok vel faðir ok móðir.
Þau Skalla-Grímr áttu dætr tvær. Hét önnur Sæunn, en önnur Þórunn. Váru þær ok efniligar í uppvexti.
Enn áttu þau Skalla-Grímr son. Var sá vatni ausinn ok nafn gefit ok kallaðr Egill. En er hann óx upp, þá mátti brátt sjá á honum, at hann
myndi verða mjök ljótr ok líkr feðr sínum, svartr á hár. En þá er hann var þrévetr, þá var hann mikill ok sterkr svá sem þeir sveinar aðrir, er váru sex
vetra eða sjau. Hann var brátt málugr ok orðvíss. Heldr var hann illr viðreignar, er hann var í leikum með öðrum ungmennum.
Þat vár fór Yngvarr til Borgar, ok var þat at erendum, at hann bauð Skalla-Grími til boðs út þangat til sín ok nefndi til þeirar ferðar
Beru, dóttur sína, ok Þórólf, son hennar, ok þá menn aðra, er þau Skalla-Grímr vildu, at færi. Skalla-Grímr hét för sinni. Fór Yngvarr þá heim ok bjó til
veizlunnar ok lét þá öl heita.
En er at þeiri stefnu kemr, er Skalla-Grímr skyldi til boðsins fara ok þau Bera, þá bjóst Þórólfr til ferðar með þeim ok húskarlar, svá at
þau váru fimmtán saman.
Egill ræddi um við föður sinn, at hann vildi fara. "Á ek þar slíkt kynni sem Þórólfr," segir hann.
"Ekki skaltu fara," segir Skalla-Grímr, "því at þú kannt ekki fyrir þér at vera í fjölmenni, þar er drykkjur eru miklar, er þú þykkir ekki
góðr viðskiptis, at þú sér ódrukkinn."
Steig þá Skalla-Grímr á hest sinn ok reið í brott, en Egill unði illa við sinn hlut. Hann gekk ór garði ok hitti eykhest einn, er
Skalla-Grímr átti, fór á bak ok reið eftir þeim Skalla-Grími. Honum varð ógreiðfært um mýrarnar, því at hann kunni enga leið, en hann sá þó mjök oft reið
þeira Skalla-Gríms, þá er eigi bar fyrir holt eða skóga. Er þat at segja frá hans ferð, at síð um kveldit kom hann á Álftanes, þá er menn sátu þar at
drykkju. Gekk hann inn í stofu. En er Yngvarr sá Egil, þá tók hann við honum feginsamliga ok spurði, hví hann hefði svá síð komit. Egill sagði, hvat þeir
Skalla-Grímr höfðu við mælzt. Yngvarr setti Egil hjá sér. Sátu þeir gagnvert þeim Skalla-Grími ok Þórólfi.
Þá var þar haft ölteiti, at menn kváðu vísur. Þá kvað Egill vísu:
Kominn emk enn til arna
Yngvars, þess's beð lyngva,
hann vask fúss at finna,
fránþvengjar gefr drengjum.
Mun eigi þú, þægir,
þrévetran mér betra,
linns, óðar smið finna.
Yngvarr helt upp vísu þeiri ok þakkaði vel Agli vísuna. En um daginn eftir þá færði Yngvarr Agli at skáldskaparlaunum kúfunga þrjá ok
andaregg. En um daginn eftir við drykkju kvað Egill vísu aðra um bragarlaun:
Síþögla gaf söglum
sárgagls þría Agli
herðimeiðr við hróðri
hagr brimrótar gagra,
ok bekkþiðurs blakka
borðvallar gaf fjorða
kennimeiðr, sás kunni,
körbeð, Egil gleðja.
Vel lagði Egill í þökk skáldskap sinn við marga menn. Ekki varð þá fleira til tíðenda í ferð þeira. Fór Egill heim með Skalla-Grími.