Chapter 55 - Egil buries Thorolf.

While his men still pursued the fugitives, king Athelstan left the battle-field, and rode back to the town, nor stayed he for the night before he came thither. But Egil pursued the flying foe, and followed them far, slaying every man whom he overtook. At length, sated with pursuit, he with his followers turned back, and came where the battle had been, and found there the dead body of his brother Thorolf. He took it up, washed it, and performed such other offices as were the wont of the time. They dug a grave there, and laid Thorolf therein with all his weapons and raiment. Then Egil clasped a gold bracelet on either wrist before he parted from him; this done they heaped on stones and cast in mould. Then Egil sang a stave:

      'Dauntless the doughty champion
      Dashed on, the earl's bold slayer:
      In stormy stress of battle
      Stout-hearted Thorolf fell.
      Green grows on soil of Vin-heath
      Grass o'er my noble brother:
      But we our woe - a sorrow
      Worse than death-pang must bear.'

And again he further sang:

      'With warriors slain round standard
      The western field I burdened;
      Adils with my blue Adder
      Assailed mid snow of war.
      Olaf, young prince, encountered
      England in battle thunder:
      Hring stood not stour of weapons,
      Starved not the ravens' maw.'

Then went Egil and those about him to seek king Athelstan, and at once went before the king, where he sat at the drinking. There was much noise of merriment. And when the king saw that Egil was come in, he bade the lower bench be cleared for them, and that Egil should sit in the high-seat facing the king. Egil sat down there, and cast his shield before his feet. He had his helm on his head, and laid his sword across his knees; and now and again he half drew it, then clashed it back into the sheath. He sat upright, but with head bent forward.

Egil was large-featured, broad of forehead, with large eyebrows, a nose not long but very thick, lips wide and long, chin exceeding broad, as was all about the jaws; thick-necked was he, and big-shouldered beyond other men, hard-featured, and grim when angry. He was well-made, more than commonly tall, had hair wolf-gray and thick, but became early bald. He was black-eyed and brown-skinned.

But as he sat (as was before written), he drew one eye-brow down towards the cheek, the other up to the roots of the hair. He would not drink now, though the horn was borne to him, but alternately twitched his brows up and down. King Athelstan sat in the upper high-seat. He too laid his sword across his knees. When they had sat there for a time, then the king drew his sword from the sheath, and took from his arm a gold ring large and good, and placing it upon the sword-point he stood up, and went across the floor, and reached it over the fire to Egil. Egil stood up and drew his sword, and went across the floor. He stuck the sword-point within the round of the ring, and drew it to him; then he went back to his place. The king sate him again in his high-seat. But when Egil was set down, he drew the ring on his arm, and then his brows went back to their place. He now laid down sword and helm, took the horn that they bare to him, and drank it off. Then sang he:

      'Mailed monarch, god of battle,
      Maketh the tinkling circlet
      Hang, his own arm forsaking,
      On hawk-trod wrist of mine.
      I bear on arm brand-wielding
      Bracelet of red gold gladly.
      War-falcon's feeder meetly
      Findeth such meed of praise.'

Thereafter Egil drank his share, and talked with others. Presently the king caused to be borne in two chests; two men bare each. Both were full of silver.

The king said: 'These chests, Egil, thou shalt have, and, if thou comest to Iceland, shalt carry this money to thy father; as payment for a son I send it to him: but some of the money thou shalt divide among such kinsmen of thyself and Thorolf as thou thinkest most honourable. But thou shalt take here payment for a brother with me, land or chattels, which thou wilt. And if thou wilt abide with me long, then will I give thee honour and dignity such as thyself mayst name.'

Egil took the money, and thanked the king for his gifts and friendly words. Thenceforward Egil began to be cheerful; and then he sang:

      'In sorrow sadly drooping
      Sank my brows close-knitted;
      Then found I one who furrows
      Of forehead could smooth.
      Fierce-frowning cliffs that shaded
      My face a king hath lifted
      With gleam of golden armlet:
      Gloom leaveth my eyes.'

Then those men were healed whose wounds left hope of life. Egil abode with king Athelstan for the next winter after Thorolf's death, and had very great honour from the king. With Egil was then all that force which had followed the two brothers, and come alive out of the battle. Egil now made a poem about king Athelstan, and in it is this stave:

      'Land-shielder, battle-quickener,
      Low now this scion royal
      Earls three hath laid. To Ella
      Earth must obedient bow.
      Lavish of gold, kin-glorious,
      Great Athelstan victorious,
      Surely, I swear, all humbled
      To such high monarch yields.'

But this is the burden in the poem:

      'Reindeer-trod hills obey
      Bold Athelstan's high sway.'

Then gave Athelstan further to Egil as poet's meed two gold rings, each weighing a mark, and therewith a costly cloak that the king himself had formerly worn.

But when spring came Egil signified to the king this, that he purposed to go away in the summer to Norway, and to learn 'how matters stand with Asgerdr, my late brother Thorolf's wife. A large property is there in all; but I know not whether there be children of theirs living. I am bound to look after them, if they live; but I am heir to all, if Thorolf died childless.'

The king answered, 'This will be, Egil, for you to arrange, to go away hence, if you think you have an errand of duty; but I think 'twere the best way that you should settle down here with me on such terms as you like to ask.'

Egil thanked the king for his words.

'I will,' he said, 'now first go, as I am in duty bound to do; but it is likely that I shall return hither to see after this promise so soon as I can.'

The king bade him do so.

Whereupon Egil made him ready to depart with his men; but of these many remained behind with the king. Egil had one large war-ship, and on board thereof a hundred men or thereabouts. And when he was ready for his voyage, and a fair wind blew, he put out to sea. He and king Athelstan parted with great friendship: the king begged Egil to return as soon as possible. This Egil promised to do.

Then Egil stood for Norway, and when he came to land sailed with all speed into the Firths. He heard these tidings, that lord Thorir was dead, and Arinbjorn had taken inheritance after him, and was made a baron. Egil went to Arinbjorn and got there a good welcome. Arinbjorn asked him to stay there. Egil accepted this, had his ship set up, and his crew lodged. But Arinbjorn received Egil and twelve men; they stayed with him through the winter.


55. kafli - Egill jarai rlf.

Aalsteinn konungr sneri brott fr orrostunni, en menn hans rku flttann. Hann rei aftr til borgarinnar ok tk eigi fyrr nttsta en borginni, en Egill rak flttann ok fylgi eim lengi ok drap hvern mann, er hann ni. San sneri hann aftr me sveitunga sna ok fr ar til, er orrostan hafi verit, ok hitti ar rlf, brur sinn, ltinn. Hann tk upp lk hans ok , bj um san, sem sivenja var til. Grfu eir ar grf ok settu rlf ar me vpnum snum llum ok klum. San spennti Egill gullhring hvra hnd honum, r hann skilist vi, hlu san at grjti ok jsu at moldu. kva Egill vsu:

      Gekk, ss isk ekki,
      jarlmanns bani snarla,
      reklundar fell, undar,
      rlfr, gn strum.
      Jr grr, en vr verum,
      Vnu nr of mnum,
      helnau es at, hylja
      harm, gtum barma.

Ok enn kva hann:

      Valkstum hlk vestan
      vang fyr merkistangir.
      tt vas l ats sttak
      Agils blum Nari.
      Hi ungr vi Engla
      leifr rimu stla.
      Helt, n hrafnar sultu,
      Hringr vpna ingi.

San fr Egill me sveit sna fund Aalsteins konungs ok gekk egar fyrir konung, er hann sat vi drykkju. ar var glaumr mikill. Ok er konungr s, at Egill var inn kominn, mlti hann, at rma skyldi pallinn ann inn ra fyrir eim, ok mlti, at Egill skyldi sitja ar ndvegi gegnt konungi.

Egill settist ar nir ok skaut skildinum fyrir ftr sr. Hann hafi hjlm hfi ok lagi sverit um kn sr ok dr annat skei til hlfs, en skelldi hann aftr slrin. Hann sat upprttr ok var gneyptr mjk. Egill var mikilleitr, ennibreir, brnamikill, nefit ekki langt, en kafliga digrt, granstit vtt ok langt, hakan brei furuliga ok sv allt um kjlkana, hlsdigr ok herimikill, sv at at bar fr v, sem arir menn vru, harleitr ok grimmligr, er hann var reir. Hann var vel vexti ok hverjum manni hri, lfgrtt hrit ok ykkt ok var snemma skllttr. En er hann sat, sem fyrr var ritat, hleypi hann annarri brninni ofan kinnina, en annarri upp hrrtr. Egill var svarteygr ok skolbrnn. Ekki vildi hann drekka, at honum vri borit, en msum hleypi hann brnunum ofan ea upp.

Aalsteinn konungr sat hsti. Hann lagi ok sver um kn sr, ok er eir stu sv um hr, dr konungr sverit r slrum ok tk gullhring af hendi sr, mikinn ok gan, ok dr blrefilinn, st upp ok gekk glfit ok rtti yfir eldinn til Egils. Egill st upp ok br sverinu ok gekk glfit. Hann stakk sverinu bug hringinum ok dr at sr, gekk aftr til rms sns. Konungr settist hsti. En er Egill settist, dr hann hringinn hnd sr, ok fru brnn hans lag. Lagi hann nir sverit ok hjlminn ok tk vi drshorni, er honum var borit, ok drakk af. kva hann:

      Hrammtangar ltr hanga
      hrynvirgil mr brynju
      Hr hauki tronum
      heiis vingameii.
      Rtmis knk reia,
      rr gunnvala brir,
      gelgju seil galga
      geirvers, lofi at meira.

aan af drakk Egill at snum hlut ok mlti vi ara menn. Eftir at lt konungr bera inn kistur tvr. Bru tveir menn hvra. Vru bar fullar af silfri.

Konungr mlti: "Kistur essar, Egill, skaltu hafa, ok ef kemr til slands, skaltu fra etta f fur num. sonargjld sendi ek honum. En sumu f skaltu skipta me frndum ykkrum rlfs, eim er r ykkja gtastir. En skalt taka hr brurgjld hj mr, lnd ea lausa aura, hvrt er vill heldr, ok ef vill me mr dveljast lengar, skal ek hr f r sm ok viring, er kannt mr sjlfr til segja."

Egill tk vi fnu ok akkai konungi gjafar ok vinmli. Tk Egill aan af at glejast, ok kva hann:

      Knttu hvarms af harmi
      hnpgnpur mr drpa.
      N fann ek anns ennis
      slttur r rtti.
      Gramr hefr gerihmrum
      grundar upp of hrundit,
      s 's til gr, af augum,
      armsma, mr grmu.

San vru grddir eir menn, er srir vru ok lfs auit. Egill dvalist me Aalsteini konungi inn nsta vetr eftir fall rlfs, ok hafi hann allmiklar viringar af konungi. Var me honum li at allt, er r hafi fylgt eim bum brrum ok r orrostu hfu komizt. orti Egill drpu um Aalstein konung, ok er v kvi etta:

      N hefr foldgnrr fellda,
      fellr jr und ni Ellu,
      hjaldrsnerrandi, harra
      hfubamr, ra jfra.
      Aalsteinn of vann annat,
      allt's lgra kynfrgjum,
      hr sverjum ess, hyrjar
      hrannbrjtr, konungmanni.

En etta er stefit drpunni:

      N liggr hst und hraustum
      hreinbraut Aalsteini.

Aalsteinn gaf enn Agli at bragarlaunum gullhringa tv, ok st hvrr mrk, ok ar fylgi skikkja dr, er konungr sjlfr hafi r borit.

En er vrai, lsti Egill yfir v fyrir konungi, at hann tlai brott um sumarit ok til Nregs ok vita, hvat ttt er um hag sgerar, - "konu eirar, er tt hefir rlfr, brir minn. ar standa saman f mikil, en ek veit eigi, hvrt brn eira lifa nkkur. ek ar fyrir at sj, ef au lifa, en ek arf allan, ef rlfr hefir barnlauss andazt."

Konungr sagi: "at mun vera, Egill, nu forri at fara hean brott, ef ykkist eiga skyldarerendi, en hinn veg ykkir mr bezt, at takir hr stafestu me mr ok slka kosti, sem vill beiast."

Egill akkai konungi or sn. "Ek mun n fara fyrst, sv sem mr ber skylda til, en at er lkara, at ek vitjak hingat essa heita, er ek komumst vi."

Konungr ba hann sv gera. San bjst Egill brott me lii snu, en margt dvalist eftir me konungi. Egill hafi eitt langskip mikit ok ar hundra manna ea vel sv. Ok er hann var binn ferar sinnar ok byr gaf, helt hann til hafs. Skilust eir Aalsteinn konungr me mikilli vinttu. Ba hann Egil koma aftr sem skjtast. Egill kva sv vera skyldu.

San helt Egill til Nregs, ok er hann kom vi land, fr hann sem skyndiligast inn Fjru. Hann spuri au tendi, at andar var rir hersir, en Arinbjrn hafi tekit vi arfi ok gerzt lendr mar. Egill fr fund Arinbjarnar ok fekk ar gar vitkur. Bau Arinbjrn honum ar at vera. Egill ekkist at. Lt hann setja upp skipit ok vista li. En Arinbjrn tk vi Agli vi tlfta mann, ok var me honum um vetrinn.

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