Chapter 38 - Thorolf comes out to Iceland.

Thorolf Skallagrim's son made him ready one summer for a trading voyage; he purposed what he also performed, to go to Iceland and see his father. He had now been long abroad. By this he had got great store of wealth and many costly things. When ready for the voyage, he went to king Eric. And at their parting the king delivered to Thorolf an axe, which he said he wished to give to Skallagrim. The axe was snag-horned, large, gold-mounted, the hilt overlaid with silver; it was most valuable and costly.

Thorolf went his way as soon as he was ready, and his voyage sped well; he came with his ship into Borgar-firth, and at once hastened home to his father. A right joyful meeting was theirs. Then Skallagrim went down to Thorolf's ship, and had it drawn up, and Thorolf went home to Borg with twelve men. But when he came home, he gave Skallagrim King Eric's greeting, and delivered to him the axe which the king had sent him. Skallagrim took the axe and held it up, looked at it awhile, but said nothing. He fixed it up by his seat.

It chanced one day in the autumn at Borg that Skallagrim had several oxen driven home which he meant to slaughter. Two of these he had led under the house-wall, and placed with heads crossing. He took a large flat stone, and pushed it under their necks. Then he went near with the axe - the king's gift - and hewed at the oxen both at once, so that he took off the heads of the two. But the axe smote down on the stone, so that the mouth broke, and was rent through all the tempered steel. Skallagrim looked at the edge, said nothing, but went into the fire-hall, and, mounting to the wall-beam, thrust the axe up among the rafters above the door. There it lay in the smoke all the winter.

But in the spring Thorolf declared that he meant to go abroad that summer.

Skallagrim forbade him, saying: ''Tis good to drive home with your wain whole. You have,' said he, 'gotten great honour by travel; but there is the old saw, "Many farings, many fortunes." Take you now here as much share of the property as you think will make you a great man.'

Thorolf said he would make yet one journey more. 'And I have,' said he, 'an urgent errand for the journey. But when I come back next time I shall settle here. But Asgerdr, your foster-child, shall go out with me to her father. This he bade me when I came west.'

Skallagrim said Thorolf would have his way.

Thereafter Thorolf went to his ship, and put it in order. And when all was ready they moved the ship out to Digra-ness, and it lay there waiting a wind. Then Asgerdr went to the ship with him. But before Thorolf left Borg Skallagrim went and took down from the rafters over the door the axe, the king's gift - and came out with it. The haft was now black with smoke, and the blade rusted. Skallagrim looked at the axe's edge. Then he handed it to Thorolf, reciting this stave:

      'The fierce would-wolf's tooth-edge
      Hath flaws not a few,
      An axe all deceitful,
      A wood cleaver weak.
      Begone! worthless weapon,
      With shaft smoke-begrimed:
      A prince ill-beseemed it
      Such present to send.'

 



38. kafli - tkvma rlfs.

rlfr Skalla-Grmsson bjst eitt sumar til kaupferar, tlai , sem hann geri, at fara til slands ok hitta fur sinn. Hann hafi lengi brottu verit. Hann hafi grynni fjr ok drgripi marga.

En er hann var binn til ferar, fr hann fund Eirks konungs. En er eir skilust, seldi konungr i hendr rlfi xi, er hann kvest gefa vilja Skalla-Grmi. xin var snaghyrnd ok mikil ok gullbin, upp skellt skaftit me silfri, ok var at inn viriligsti gripr.

rlfr fr ferar sinnar, egar hann var binn, ok greiddist honum vel ok kom skipi snu Borgarfjr ok fr egar brliga heim til fur sns. Var ar fagnafundr mikill, er eir hittust. San fr Skalla-Grmr til skips mti rlfi, lt setja upp skipit, en rlfr fr heim til Borgar me tlfta mann.

En er hann kom heim, bar hann Skalla-Grmi kveju Eirks konungs ok fri honum xi , er konungr hafi sent honum. Skalla-Grmr tk vi xinni, helt upp ok s um hr ok rddi ekki um, festi upp hj rmi snu.

at var um haustit einn hvern dag at Borg, at Skalla-Grmr lt reka heim yxn mjk marga, er hann tlai til hggs. Hann lt leia tv yxn saman undir hsvegg ok leia vxl. Hann tk hellustein vel mikinn ok skaut nir undir hlsana. San gekk hann til me xina konungsnaut ok hj yxnina ba senn, sv at hfuit tk af hvrumtveggja, en xin hljp nir steininn, sv at murinn brast r allr ok rifnai upp gegnum heruna. Skalla-Grmr s eggina ok rddi ekki um, gekk san inn eldahs ok steig san stokk upp ok skaut xinni upp hursa. L hon ar um vetrinn.

En um vrit lsti rlfr yfir v, at hann tlai tan at fara um sumarit.

Skalla-Grmr latti hann, sagi, at var gott heilum vagni heim at aka. "Hefir ," sagi hann, "farit fremarfr mikla, en at er mlt, er msar verr, ef margar ferr. Tak n hr vi fjrhlut sv miklum, at ykkist vera mega gildr mar af."

rlfr sagi, at hann vill enn fara einhverja fer, - "ok ek nausynlig erendi til fararinnar. En er ek kem t ru sinni, mun ek hr stafestast. En sgerr, fstra n, skal fara tan me mr fund fur sns. Bau hann mr um at, er ek fr austan."

Skalla-Grmr kva hann ra mundu, - "en sv segir mr hugr um, ef vit skiljumst n, sem vit munim eigi finnast san."

San fr rlfr til skips sns ok bj at. En er hann var albinn, fluttu eir t skipit til Digraness, ok l ar til byrjar. Fr sgerr til skips me honum.

En r rlfr fr fr Borg, gekk Skalla-Grmr til ok tk xina ofan af hursum, konungsgjfina, ok gekk t me. Var skaftit svart af reyk, en xin rygengin. Skalla-Grmr s egg xinni. San seldi hann rlfi xina. Skalla-Grmr kva vsu:

      Liggja gs eggju,
      k sveigar kr deiga,
      fox es illt xi,
      undvargs flsur margar.
      Arghyrnu lt rna
      aftr me roknu skafti.
      rfgi vri eirar,
      at vas inga gjf, hingat.

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