Chapter 44 - The slaying of Bard.
King Eric and queen Gunnhilda came that same evening to Atla-isle, and Bard had prepared there a banquet for the king; and there was to be
there a sacrifice to the guardian spirits. Sumptuous was the banquet, and great the drinking within the hall.
'Where is Bard?' asked the king; 'I see him not.'
Someone said: 'Bard is outside supplying his guests.'
'Who be these guests,' said the king, 'that he deemeth this more a duty than to be here within waiting on us?'
The man said that some house-carles of lord Thorir were come thither.
The king said: 'Go after them at once, and call them in hither.'
And so it was done, with the message that the king would fain see them.
Whereupon they came. The king received Aulvir well, and bade him sit in the high-seat facing himself, and his comrades outside him. They did so, Egil
sitting next to Aulvir. Ale was then served to them to drink. Many toasts went round, and a horn should be drunk to each toast.
But as the evening wore on, many of Aulvir's companions became helpless. Some remained in the room, though sick, some went out of doors. Bard busily
plied them with drink. Then Egil took the horn which Bard had offered to Aulvir, and drank it off. Bard said that Egil was very thirsty, and brought
him at once the horn again filled, and bade him drink it off. Egil took the horn, and recited a stave:
'Wizard-worshipper of cairns!
Want of ale thou couldst allege,
Here at spirits' holy feast.
False deceiver thee I find.
Stranger guests thou didst beguile,
Cloaking thus thy churlish greed.
Bard, a niggard base art thou,
Treacherous trick on such to play.'
Bard bade him drink and stop that jeering. Egil drained every cup that came to him, drinking for Aulvir likewise. Then Bard went to the queen and told her
there was a man there who put shame on them, for, howsoever much he drank, he still said he was thirsty. The queen and Bard then mixed the drink with
poison, and bare it in. Bard consecrated the cup, then gave it to the ale-maid. She carried it to Egil, and bade him drink. Egil then drew his knife and
pricked the palm of his hand. He took the horn, scratched runes thereon, and smeared blood in them. He sang:
'Write we runes around the horn,
Redden all the spell with blood;
Wise words choose I for the cup
Wrought from branching horn of beast.
Drink we then, as drink we will,
Draught that cheerful bearer brings,
Learn that health abides in ale,
Holy ale that Bard hath bless'd.'
The horn burst asunder in the midst, and the drink was spilt on the straw below. Then Aulvir began to be faint. So Egil stood up, took Aulvir by the hand,
and led him to the door. Egil shifted his cloak to his left side, and under the mantle held his sword. But when they came to the door, then came Bard after
them with a full horn, and bade them drink a farewell cup. Egil stood in the door. He took the horn and drank it off; then recited a stave:
'Ale is borne to me, for ale
Aulvir now maketh pale.
From ox-horn I let pour
'Twixt my lips the shower.
But blind they fate to see
Blows thou bring'st on thee:
Full soon from Odin's thane
Feel'st thou deadly rain.'
With that Egil threw down the horn, but gripped his sword and drew; it was dark in the room. He thrust Bard right through the middle with the sword, so
that the point went out at the back. Bard fell dead, the blood welling from the wound. Aulvir fell too, vomiting. Then Egil dashed out of the room; it was
pitch dark outside. Egil at once ran off from the buildings. But in the entrance-room it was now seen that Bard and Aulvir were fallen.
Then came the king, and bade them bring light; whereupon they saw what had happened, that Aulvir lay there senseless; but Bard was slain, and the floor all
streaming with blood. Then the king asked where was that big man who had drunk most that evening. Men said that he had gone out.
'Seek him,' said the king, 'and bring him to me.'
Search was made for him round the premises, but nowhere was he found. But when they came to the detached fire-hall, there lay Aulvir's comrades. The king's
men asked if Egil had come there at all. They said that he had run in, taken his weapons, and so out again.
This was told to the king. The king bade his men go with all speed and seize every ship or boat on the island.
'But in the morning,' said he, 'when it is light, we must search all the island and slay the man.'
44. kafli - Egill vegr Atleyjar-Bárð.
Eiríkr konungr ok Gunnhildr kómu þat sama kveld í Atley, ok hafði Bárðr þar búit veizlu móti honum, ok skyldi þar vera dísablót,
ok var þar veizla in bezta ok drykkja mikil inni í stofunni.
Konungr spurði, hvar Bárðr væri, - "er ek sé hann hvergi."
Maðr segir: "Bárðr er úti ok greiðir fyrir gestum sínum."
"Hverir eru gestir þeir," segir konungr, "er hann lætr sér þat skyldara en vera inni hér hjá oss?"
Maðrinn sagði honum, at þar váru komnir húskarlar Þóris hersis.
Konungr mælti: "Gangi eftir þeim sem tíðast ok kalli þá inn hingat." Ok var svá gert, sagt, at konungr vill hitta þá.
Síðan ganga þeir. Fagnar konungr vel Ölvi ok bað hann sitja gagnvert sér í öndvegi ok þar förunauta hans útar frá. Þeir gerðu svá. Sat Egill
Síðan var þeim borit öl at drekka. Fóru minni mörg, ok skyldi horn drekka í minni hvert. En er á leið um kveldit, þá kom svá, at förunautar
Ölvis gerðust margir ófærir, sumir spjó þar inni í stofunni, en sumir kómust út fyrir dyrr. Bárðr gekk þá at fast at bera þeim drykk. Þá tók Egill við horni
því, er Bárðr hafði fengit Ölvi, ok drakk af. Bárðr sagði, at hann þyrsti mjök, ok færði honum þegar hornit fullt ok bað hann af drekka. Egill tók við horninu
ok kvað vísu:
Sögðuð sverri flagða
sumbleklu ér, kumbla,
því telk, brjótr, þars blétuð,
bragðvísan þik, dísir.
Leynduð alls til illa
illt hafið bragð of brugðit,
Báröðr, hugar fári.
Bárðr bað hann drekka ok hætta flimtun þeiri. Egill drakk full hvert, er at honum kom, ok svá fyrir Ölvi.
Þá gekk Bárðr til dróttningar ok sagði henni, at þar var maðr sá, er skömm færði at þeim ok aldregi drakk svá, at eigi segði hann sik þyrsta.
Dróttning ok Bárðr blönduðu þá drykkinn ólyfjani ok báru þá inn. Signdi Bárðr fullit, fekk síðan ölseljunni. Færði hon Agli ok bað hann drekka. Egill brá þá
knífi sínum ok stakk í lófa sér. Hann tók við horninu ok reist á rúnar ok reið á blóðinu. Hann kvað:
Rístum rún á horni.
Rjóðum spjöll í dreyra.
Þau velk orð til eyrna
óðs dýrs viðar róta.
Drekkum veig, sem viljum,
vel glýjaðra þýja.
Vitum, hvé oss of eiri
öl, þats Báröðr signdi.
Hornit sprakk í sundr, en drykkrinn fór niðr í hálm. Þá tók at líða at Ölvi. Stóð þá Egill upp ok leiddi Ölvi útar til duranna ok helt á sverði
sinu. En er þeir koma at durunum, þá kom Bárðr eftir þeim ok bað Ölvi drekka brautfararminni sitt. Egill tók við ok drakk ok kvað vísu:
Öl ber mér, þvít Ölvi
öl gervir nú fölvan.
Atgeira lætk ýrar
ýring of grön skýra.
Öllungis kannt illa,
oddskýs, fyr þér nýsa,
rigna getr at regni,
regnbjóðr, Hávars þegna.
Egill kastar horninu, en greip sverðit ok brá. Myrkt var í forstofunni. Hann lagði sverðinu á Bárði miðjum, svá at blóðrefillinn hljóp út um
bakit. Fell hann dauðr niðr, en blóð hljóp ór undinni. Þá fell Ölvir, ok gaus spýja ór honum. Egill hljóp þá út ór stofunni. Þá var niðamyrkr úti. Tók Egill
þegar rás af bænum.
En inni í forstofunni sá menn, at þeir váru báðir fallnir, Bárðr ok Ölvir. Kom þá konungr til ok lét bera at ljós. Sá menn þá, hvat títt var,
at Ölvir lá þar vitlauss, en Bárðr var veginn, ok flaut í blóði hans gólfit allt.
Þá spurði konungr, hvar sá væri inn mikli maðr, er þar hafði drukkit mest um kveldit. Menn sögðu, at hann gekk út.
"Leiti at honum," segir konungr, "ok láti hann koma til mín."
Var hans nú leita farit um bæinn, ok fannst hann hvergi. En er þeir koma í eldahúsit, þá lágu þar margir menn Ölvis. Konungsmenn spurðu, ef þar
hefði nökkut Egill komit.
Þeir segja, at hann hefði hlaupit þar inn ok tekit vápn sín - "ok gekk út eftir þat."
Þá var þat sagt konungi. Konungr bað menn sína fara sem hvatast ok taka skip öll, þau er váru í eyjunni. "En á morgin, er ljóst er, skulum vér
rannsaka alla eyna ok drepa þá manninn."