After the battle of Svoldr, when King Olaf Tryggvison disappeared from his ship and was no more seen in his realm of Norway, his foes, the Dane-King, the Swede-King, and Earl Eric divided the land between them. And Earl Eric had a brother, called Svein, who had married the Swede-King’s daughter, and the two brothers together took charge of the realm. And Earl Eric and Earl Svein were the sons of the great Earl Hakon of Ladir.

And there was a man named Olaf, the son of Harald of Grenland, who was a great-grandson of King Harald Hairfair. And a, mighty warrior was Olaf, and many battles had he fought in many lands. And when fifteen winters had passed since the fall of King Olaf Tryggvison, Earl Eric being dead, Olaf Haraldson came into Norway with a great host. And Earl Svein fled from the land, and the people took Olaf for their King. And soon Earl Svein died, and there was peace, and King Olaf ruled in the realm for fifteen years.

Now in those days was Knut King in England, and fain he was to be King of Norway too. And he sent spies into the land, and with bribes turned many of the mighty chiefs to be his men, and so were they lost to Olaf. And others did he lose in this wise. There was a man named Thorir, and it was told to King


Olaf that Thorir had sworn himself King Knut’s man, and had taken from him a gift of a great gold ring which he wore upon his arm.

And King Olaf took him by the arm, and found the ring upon it, and Thorir said he had it from King Knut. And without further knowing of the matter King Olaf had him put


to death. And much ill-will did this deed stir up against him.

And King Knut gathered his ships and a mighty host and came unto the land. And when Olaf would have met him, he found few to follow him to the fight. And he saw that he had lost his people, and he sailed away from Norway with his wife and son, who was called Magnus. And they went East to the Garthrealm where they gat much love from the King and Queen of that land. And the King’s name was Jarisleif and the Queen’s name was Ingigerd. And they would fain have King Olaf take to him a portion of their land, and stay with them and rule over it. But Olaf yearned for his own kingdom. And news came to him of the death of the mighty Earl whom King Knut had placed over the land, and he was minded to return and try to win back his people and his rule. So he left Magnus in the care of King Jarisleif and Queen Ingigerd and set out from Garthrealm.

And many chiefs of Norway who were his friends heard of his coming and gathered together to give him their aid. And the noblest of them all was Harald, King Olaf’s brother. Fifteen winters old he was and big and brave and manly to behold. And they gathered together six hundred men and marched eastwards to meet King Olaf. And when they met him there was the greatest joy, and together they had twelve hundred men. But as they marched on they found but few of the people ready to join them. For the people trusted in the strength and the fair promises of King Knut, and listened to those who were friends of King


Knut and foes of King Olaf, and they were stirred to drive Olaf from the kingdom, and all those with him who would fain have him for King.

And Olaf and Harald, his brother, and the chiefs came into Sticklestead, and there a great host was come against them. And they arranged them for battle, and set up their banners. Then said Olaf: “I deem it well that Harald, my brother, be not in the fight, for he is but a child of years.”

And Harald heard him, and answered and said: “I shall surely be in the fight.” And he had his will, and. took his place in the battle. And hard was the fight and Olaf was slain, and Harald was sorely wounded. And the night after the battle a certain man carried him into hiding to a house in a wood far from other men. And there was he cared for until his wound was healed. And as soon as it was safe he fared forth by woodland ways until he reached Garthrealm, where Magnus, the son of Olaf, was still in the keeping of King Jarisleif and Queen Ingigerd.


And Svein, the son of King Knut, ruled in the land of Norway, and full ill-content were the men of that land, for Knut remembered not the fair promises which he had made to them, and they repented them that they had laid the land under his evil rule, and cut off King Olaf from both life and land. And when some winters had passed and there was still disquiet among them, Einar Thambarskelfir and Karl Arnison, two mighty men of Norway, took counsel together. And Einar Thambarskelfir was the same man who had stood on King Olaf Tryggvison’s ship and shot his bow at Earl Eric, and whose own bow had been shot in twain in his hand by Earl Eric’s bowman.

And Einar Thambarskelfir and Karl Arnison fared East into Garthrealm to the court of King Jarisleif. And there they sought Magnus, the son of King Olaf, and prayed him to lead them hack to Norway, and with their strength should he come by his father’s realm. And King Jarisleif and Queen Ingigerd held counsel together, and in the end it came to pass that Magnus set out for Norway with a great following.

And when he was come unto Norway, none withstood him, and Svein, the son of Knut, fled from the land, and Magnus made himself King over the Danerealm also, and put a certain man named Svein, the son of Earl Wolf and a great-grandson of King Svein of Denmark, to be his Earl there. And Svein Wolfson waxed strong in the land and won much friendship of the people till at last he would be King instead of Magnus. Thereupon did Magnus array his men and his ships and set out for Denmark, and many fierce


battles he fought and drove Svein Wolfson from the land. And in his wanderings Earl Svein met with Harald, the brother of King Olaf. Harald had fared away from Garthrealm, and had journeyed to many lands. To Greekland had he fared, and to Serkland, which is Western Africa, and to Sicily, and to Jerusalem land, and in all those lands he harried and gat great victories and much wealth. Then he fared back to Garthrealm and King Jarisleif gave unto him his daughter, Ellisif, for his wife.

And in the spring he left Garthrealm and came into Sweden, and there it was that he met with Earl Svein Wolfson, the foe of his brother’s son, King Magnus. And Harald and Earl Svein greeted each other well, for they were of kinship by Harald’s marriage with Ellisif. And they made fellowship together, and Svein Wolfson told Harald of his battles with King Magnus, and of how he had been driven from the land of Denmark. And they agreed together, and gathered a great force and sailed for Denmark, minded to lay under them that realm and also the realm of Norway.

And King Magnus heard the tidings, and he drew up a great host and arrayed him for meeting his foes. And the fame of Harald was in all men’s mouths, how that he was the greatest and the strongest and the wisest of men, ever victorious in battle, and with such wealth of gold as had never before been known. And the men of King Magnus said unto him that it were better to make peace with such an one. And Magnus was of a like mind and he sent messengers with all speed to


Harald to speak secretly with him. And he offered him one half of the kingdom of Norway.

And when the messengers were come unto Harald, they declared the King’s will to him, and he answered them yea and they returned to King Magnus. And Harald said naught of the matter to Svein Wolfson, but on a night as they sat together, Svein asked Harald what thing he had which he valued as the most precious of his possessions. And Harald answered him that his banner called Landwaster was the dearest thing to him, seeing that it had been told of it that it would always bring victory to the one before whom it was borne, and that it had ever been so. And Svein said: “I will believe that when thou hast fought three battles with King Magnus and gained the victory in each.”

At this Harald waxed wroth and said that it might be that he and King Magnus would meet in seemlier fashion than with war shields aloft. And Svein’s face looked red as blood for he liked not the answer. And he parted hastily from Harald. And that night Harald bade one of his men lay in his bed a tree-stump, and Harald betook him to sleep in another part of the ship, for he thought it likely that Svein Wolfson would do some injury upon him. And they watched and saw a man come to the ship in a boat, and when he had departed again, they found an axe stuck fast in the tree in the bed of Harald. And Harald called all his men together, and showed them the axe, and told them of the treachery of Svein. And they loosed their ships in the darkness of night, and rowed away, and day and night they fared on till they met King

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Harald called his men together and showed them the axe (P. 146)


Magnus. And right joyful was the meeting between Harald and King Magnus, and they talked over matters and all went in peaceful wise.

And King Magnus bade Harald to a great banquet, and there did he give to Harald’s men rich presents, according to their greatness. And before all men did


he give to Harald one half of Norway realm. And the next morning a Thing was called, and King Magnus made known to all the assembly what he had done, and there was the King’s name given to Harald.

And that day King Harald gave a feast to King Magnus, and in his turn did he bestow precious things of all kinds upon King Magnus’ men, and to Magnus he gave the half of his gold, which, as men saw, they wondered that so much gold should come together in one place.

And the two Kings ruled over Norway. And in the next winter they fared through the Uplands, sometimes together, and sometimes each by himself. And for a time they were well of one mind, but a time came when they were not of one mind, and there were those who went about to make ill-will between them.

And it befell that Earl Svein Wolfson, hearing that the Kings were together in the north of the land of Norway, came unto Denmark and took to himself all the King’s dues from that land. But when the spring came Magnus and Harald got their host together to fare to Denmark. And when Earl Svein heard of this he fled away east. And the Kings tarried together in the Dane-realm that summer.

Now in the autumn of that same year, King Magnus dreamed a dream. He thought he was with his father, King Olaf. And his father said to him: “What wilt thou choose now, my son, to fare with me, or to be of all kings the mightiest, and live long, and do such an ill deed as thou mayest scarcely think on?”

And Magnus thought he answered: “Do thou


choose for me.” And he thought the King said: “Then shalt thou fare with me.”

And the next day King Magnus told his dream to his men. And soon thereafter did he fall ill, and he knew that he should die. And he sent his brother Thorn- unto Svein Wolfson to tell him that the hand of death was upon him, and to beseech him to give aid to Thorir if ever he were in need. Moreover, he gave unto Svein the rule of the Dane-realm, and to Harald, the rule over Norway.

And soon after this King Magnus died, and his people were right downcast at his death.

And when Harald heard how that Earl Svein should have the Dane-realm, he was full sore, for he thought it to be his heritage from King Magnus as much as was the realm of Norway. And he called his host together, and opened his mind to them on the matter, and bade them follow him to Denmark. But then upstood Einar Thambarskelfir and spake out straightly to King Harald, saying that it behoved him rather to carry the body of King Magnus to the grave, and lay him beside his father, King Olaf, than to be warring and seeking to take from Svein Wolfson the realm which King Magnus had given to him. And this more he said, that for himself he would rather follow King Magnus dead than any king alive.

And King Harald saw that Einar’s words moved the people, and that he must fare back to Norway, and’ do as Einar had counselled. And Einar took men, and they bore the body of King Magnus to the King’s ship, and arranged it in full stately fashion, and men


no more talked of war but made them ready to go home with the body of King Magnus. And they bore it to Nidoyce, and laid it in earth in Saint Clement’s Church, where was the shrine of his father, King Olaf, whom men now called “The Holy.”

And King Harald fared through the land calling the people together and bidding them take him to King over all Norway. And the next year he gathered his ships and a great host and sailed to Denmark, and summer after summer did he this, and he harried the land and took much wealth therefrom.

And Svein Wolfson ruled the Dane-realm and had with him Thorir, the brother of Magnus, and he treated him full kindly. And year after year did Svein Wolfson harry the land of Norway, just as King Harald harried the land of Denmark. And at last King Svein offered to King Harald that they should meet in the next summer and fight out their grievances or else come to peace. And all the winter were the two Kings busy preparing their ships for the battle. And at due time King Harald came to the appointed place, but King Svein was not there. So King Harald harried about the land, till King Svein came upon him from the land with a great host, and bade him come aland and fight.

Now King Svein had twice as many men as Harald. Therefore King Harald bade King Svein to fight with him at sea. And he rowed his ships under the island of Leesey, and lay there overnight. And a mist came up, so that they saw nothing of their foes, but when the morning sun shone out, and the mist


was clearing, they saw out at sea as if great fires were burning. And the men told King Harald, and he came upon his deck, and looked. And full quickly did he know the meaning of the brightness. “Let men fall to the oars,” he cried. “The Dane-host now is come upon us, and the sun is shining on their dragon-heads, such as are overlaid with gold.”

And they sailed away, ere the mist had cleared, as speedily as they might, and the Dane-host followed them. And when King Svein’s ships were nigh upon them King Harald called to his men to lighten the ships. And they threw out rafts and heaped on them the precious spoils which they had taken from the Dane-realm. And the Danes tarried to take the spoils, which when King Svein saw, he cried to them to speed with the rowing and leave the rafts. And this they did, and again they drew nigh to King Harald’s ships. Then Harald bade his


men throw overboard the meat and drink, and the prisoners they had taken in fight. And King Svein would fain save the drowning men, and while his ships tarried to take them aboard King Harald sailed on and thus did outstrip King Svein. And the Danish host gave up the chase, and Harald went on his way.

Thus was King Harald ever quick of wit in danger, and therefore was he called the Hardredy or quick-witted. Masterful he was, too, so that none dared to say him nay in anything that he would have. And a great warrior was he, and skilful with weapons above any other man. And right friendly was Harald to the men of Iceland, and many songs did their singers make of his prowess and doughty deeds. And on a time when there was a famine in Iceland, King Harald did send four ships carrying meat to the land. And at other times did he give great gifts to the men of Iceland, who came to him. And many came to Norway in his time, and he welcomed them, and they tarried in the land for awhile.

Now Einar Thambarskelfir was a mighty man in Norway for he held much land in Thrandheim which King Magnus had given him, and also he had much wealth. But there was little dealing between him and King Harald, for he ever spake his mind against the King’s masterful ways, and answered with boldness for all men at the assemblies of the people. Well he knew the law too, and would speak it forth even before the King. And the King waxed wroth at this, and often it befell that there were hot words between them. And on a time Einar spoke out and said that though Harald


was their King, the people would not suffer him to break the law. And such was King Harald’s anger at this that thereafter Einar took to having many men about him at home, and many more when he fared abroad, and especially where the King was.

And it befell that once he fared to the town with a great host. Eight or nine long ships he had, and five hundred men. And King Harald happened to be at that place, and he saw the ships and the men as they came ashore. And King Harald said that Einar had more followers than an Earl, and doubtless would think himself fit to be a King, unless he were speedily brought low.

Now on a day a meeting of the folk was held and the King was to be there. And it chanced that a certain thief, who had been taken in the town, was brought there for judgment. And this man had once been Einar’s man, and Einar had liked him well. And Einar was told of his taking and he deemed that the King would be harder on the man, knowing that he set store by him. And Einar bade his men take their weapons, and he went with them to the folk meeting, and took the man thence by force.

And King Harald called upon Einar to appear before him at his Council Chamber, and answer for his deed. And Einar came to the place with his son Eindridi. And he said to Eindridi: “Be thou outside with our folk; there will then be no peril for me.” And Einar went into the Council Chamber, and when the door had closed behind him, there was so little light in the chamber that he could scarcely see his way, and


before he had taken many steps men leapt upon him in the darkness, and felled him to the ground. And Eindridi heard a cry, and a struggle, and he drew his sword and rushed in. And straightway he also was struck down. And Einar’s men without the door cried to each other to avenge this slaughter of their chiefs, but they had none to lead them. And when King Harald came out from the Council Chamber none withstood him. Yet sore ill-will against King Harald was there among Einar’s kinsfolk and the men of Thrandheim for his misdeed. And they would have brought him to battle, but none was there at that time to raise their banner and lead them forth.

Now on a winter did King Harald fare to Nidoyce, and there did he build a great ship. It was built after the fashion of King Olaf’s Long Serpent. Forward was a dragon head, and aft a crooked tail, and both were wrought about with gold. Thirty-five benches were there for rowers, and the furnishing of the ship in sails and running tackle and anchors and cables were all of the best. And when the ship was finished King Harald sent word to King Svein of Denmark that he would meet him in the spring and join battle with him, and the winner should take both the kingdoms to rule.

And when the spring was come King Harald gathered a great host and sailed out from Nidoyce. And the great dragon ship was fitted out, and Harald steered it himself. And they came to the shores of Denmark, to the place appointed for the battle, and King Harald heard that King Svein was farther south

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A small boat rowed up to the earl's ship (P. 159)


with his host. And King Harald harried the land until King Svein came upon him with three hundred ships. And when the Northmen saw the great host of King Svein they would flee, but King Harald spoke and said: “Sooner shall every man of us fall athwart the other, rather than flee.”

And they arrayed their ships and King Svein arrayed his host, and the war-blast was blown, and the fight began. Fierce it was, and all night long it waged. And late in the night King Harald and his men boarded King Svein’s ship, and all men were slain, save those that leapt into the sea. And when King Svein’s banner was no more to be seen upon his ship all his men were full of fear. And they fled from King Harald. And none knew where King Svein was, or whether he was alive or dead.

And there was with King Harald at this time Earl Hakon Ivarson, a great-grandson of Earl Hakon the “Mighty.” He was, too, a kinsman of King Svein’s, for Svein had married a granddaughter of Earl Hakon the Mighty, and on a time when he had quarrelled with King Harald, Earl Hakon Ivarson had departed to Denmark, and served King Svein, and he knew the land and the people well.

Now Earl Hakon’s ship had been behind the others when the battle was at its fiercest. And a small boat rowed up to the Earl’s ship, and there sat a man in it, and his face was partly hidden by a wide hat. And the man called up on to the Earl’s ship: “Where is the Earl?” And Earl Hakon came from tending a wounded man, and he leaned over the side of the


ship and looked at the man in the boat. “What is thy name?” he asked. And the man answered: “I am Vandrad: I will take life of thee, Earl, if thou wilt give it.”

And Earl Hakon called to two men on his ship, who were his dear friends, and he said to them: “Step into the boat, and flit Vandrad ashore, and take him to Karl, my friend, and bid him let Vandrad have a horse and saddle, and his son for a guide.” And the men leapt into Vandrad’s boat and rowed away. And whenever King Harald’s ships came nigh to the boat, Earl Hakon’s men told who they were, and they passed on in peace. And at last they got beyond all the ships, and went aland to the homestead of Karl.

And the morn was dawning, and there was Karl, and they told him Earl Hakon’s message. And when he had heard them, he welcomed them heartily, and set food upon the board, and brought them water and towels for washing. And the housewife came in, making sore complaint against the noise and clatter that had been around there through the night, whereby none might get sleep or rest. And Karl said: “Knowest thou not the Kings have been fighting all the night?” And she asked: “Which has had the better?” And Karl answered her: “The Northmen have got the victory, and men wot not whether our King be fled or fallen.” And the housewife “said: “In sorry case we be for a King; he is a craven.”

And. at this Vandrad looked up quickly and said “Nought is the King craven, but nought is he victorious.” And now the men washed and Vandrad last, and


he wiped himself in courteous fashion on the middle of the towel. And the housewife pulled it from him roughly saying that he was wetting all the towel at once. And Vandrad took all with patience and said little. Then they sat down to the board and ate, and after did Karl bring the horse to Vandrad, and put his son upon another, and they rode forth together. And Earl Hakon’s men returned to his ship.

Now Vandrad was King Svein, and by this means he got away safely to Sealand, and there all his host who had fled from the battle, and many others, joined him.

And this battle between King Svein and King Harald the Hardredy was called the battle of Niz. And when King Harald had returned to Norway, King Svein held the Dane-realm as before. And he sent for Karl, and thanked him for his aid, and gave him great rewards, so that he became a man of great account in the land.

But when King Harald knew that it was Earl Hakon who had helped King Svein in his flight, he was full wroth, and Earl Hakon was forced to flee from the land.

And the next winter messengers fared between Norway and Denmark bidding the King to make peace. And it befell that when spring-time came the Kings met, and talked together and came to peace on these terms, that King Harald should have Norway, and King Svein Denmark, and that warfare should cease between them. And they bound themselves with oaths and parted in friendly manner.

Now there was a King in England at this time


named Edward, and men called him the Good. His wife was Gyda, the daughter of Godwin, a mighty Earl of the land. Godwin was brave and noble, and he had five sons, also brave and noble, and they were the mightiest men in England. And Edward the Good having no children, took Earl Godwin’s youngest son, Harald, for his foster-son. And Earl Harald was brought up at the King’s Court, and the King loved him much.

And Tosti, the eldest son of Earl Godwin, was captain over the host, and was above all other earls.

And it befell that King Edward the Good died, and Earl Harald claimed that he had given him the kingdom. And he was taken to King by the people, and received king-hallowing in Paul’s Church. But when Tosti heard these tidings he was wroth, for he deemed he was as worthy to be king as his brother Harald. And he said: “Let the lords of the land choose which shall be king.” But Harald held fast to the kingdom, saying that he had been given king-hallowing, and, moreover, all the people would have him for king, and he had all the king’s treasures. And seeing that his brother, Tosti, was against him, and that he was a powerful lord and a great warrior, he took from him the power that King Edward the Good had given him.

And Tosti fared from the land in anger. And he went to King Svein of Denmark and besought him to help him to get the kingdom from his brother. But King Svein answered him nay, “For,” said he, “scarce can I hold the Dane-realm.” Then Tosti fared into


Norway and went to King Harald the Hardredy and he besought his aid. But King Harald said that the Northmen would not be eager to fare to England a-warring and have an English lord over them. “Men say,” he said, “that those England men are not all trusty.”

But Tosti egged him on in the matter, saying that his fame was known to all men, and that no such warrior as he had been born in the Northlands, and he might make England his own. “And,” says he, “meseems it is wonderful that thou shouldest have been fighting for Denmark these fifteen years, but will not have England which now lieth ready for thy hand.”

And Harald listened to him, and fain he was to get the land. And they talked long together, and in the end it came to this, that in the summer they should fare to England together to win the realm. And messengers went over all Norway calling out the men for the war muster. And the fame of the coming fight was all over the land and many guesses were made as to what might come of it. Some spake of the great deeds of King Harald and said that this would not be beyond him. And others spake of the great numbers of the England folk, of their great fighters, and of one host they had of which the saying was that one man of them was better than two of the best of the Northmen.

In the spring Earl Tosti sailed away to get his host together, and Harald arrayed his men. And King Harald was at this time at Nidoyce, and when all was ready, he went to the shrine of his brother, King Olaf


the Holy, and unlocked it and cut the hair and nails of the dead King. Then he locked the shrine again and threw the keys into the River Nid. And never since that day has the shrine of King Olaf been opened.

And King Harald set his son Magnus to rule over the kingdom of Norway in his absence. And he fared forth from Nidoyce, taking with him Queen Ellisif and his daughters, Maria and Ingigerd. And so great was his host that men say there were well nigh two hundred ships, besides other small cutters.

And there was a man on the King’s ship and he dreamed a dream. He thought that he looked landward and saw an ogress stand with a short sword in one hand and a trough in the other. And on the prow of each ship sat a raven. And the ogress sang, and in her song she said that she would follow the ships and eat the dead bodies of those who should fall in battle.

And another man in another ship also dreamed a dream. He thought that he saw the fleet of King Harald faring towards England. And he saw on the land the two great hosts arraying themselves for the fight, with all their banners aloft. And up and down before the England men there rode an ogress sitting upon a wolf. And the wolf held the dead body of a man in his mouth. And when he had eaten it, the ogress threw him another, and then another.

And King Harald himself dreamed a dream. He thought he was at Nidoyce, and there came to him King Olaf, his brother. And King Olaf said to him “I am fearsome, King, that now thy death beginneth.”


And many others dreamed dreams at that time, and all seemed forebodings of death or sore mischance. And the host grew heavy of heart. But on they fared and the wind was fair, and they came unto the Orkneys. And there did King Harald leave Queen Ellisif, and his daughters, Maria and Ingigerd.

And he and his men sailed on again and they came unto Scarborough, on the north-eastern coast of England. And they came aland and did set the town afire and slew many men, and took all the wealth they could. And King Harald marched along from place to place, and all gave way before him. But when they reached the Humber, a great host of English warriors came down upon them. And the banner Landwaster was carried forth and Harald cheered on his men, and deadly was the fight. And the England men shrank back before the hard onset of the Northmen, and speedily turned to flight.

Now did Earl Tosti join King Harald and with him a great multitude that were his kin and friends. And they forced on together to Stamford Bridge. And such was King Harald’s fame in that town that the people offered themselves and their town to him without battle, and gave to him as hostages the sons of highborn men.

This befell on Sunday, and King Harald directed that an assembly of the people should be held on Monday, when he would choose men of prowess to rule the town for him. And the King fared back to his ships right joyful at his victory.

Now on the evening of the same Sunday it befell


that Harald Godwinson, King of England, marched up to the town with a mighty host. And when he came to the gates, the people let him in right willingly. And he ordered that all the gates and ways should be guarded so that the Northmen should not know of his coming.

And on the morning of Monday, King Harald the Hardredy fared forth from his ships with two-thirds of his men and marched towards the town to hold the assembly of the people. And the sun shone hot and the weather was fair, and right merry were his men. No armour did they wear, but bore their shields and helms and spears, and their swords were girt about them. And as they neared the town, they saw a mighty host which rode out therefrom, and brightly shone their shields and their armour in the sun.

And King Harald the Hardredy stayed his men, and called unto him Earl Tosti and asked him what this might be. And Earl Tosti answered him that it looked most like unpeace. And the King bade all keep quiet and watch. And the nearer the host came,

the larger was it, and their weapons gleamed and flashed as they rode. “Unpeace is toward,” said King Harald the Hardredy. “This will be the King himself.”

And Earl Tosti counselled that they should turn back swiftly and fetch their weapons or else bide on their ships, but King Harald said he would have three of his briskest men on his swiftest horses to ride back and tell the rest of the host, and bring them speedily to their aid. And Earl Tosti bade the King rule in this matter, and so it was done.


And they set up the banner Landwaster and King Harald sat on his black horse and arrayed his host and scanned the host of the England men. And his horse slipped and fell under him, and he was thrown forward to the ground. But swiftly he leapt again to his feet with jesting words on his lips. And King Harald of England saw the fall and said to those around him: “Did ye know that big man who fell off his horse there with the blue kirtle and the goodly helm?” And they answered him: “There is the King himself.” And Harald Godwinson said: “A big man and masterful but, belike, forlorn of luck.”

And a score of horsemen rode up to the Northmen and one spake and asked if Earl Tosti were there. And when Earl Tosti stood before him he gave unto him a message of peace from his brother, Harald Godwinson, and a promise of land even to one-third of his realm. Then said Tosti: “Had this been bidden last winter many a man would be alive now who now is dead, and better would stand the Kingdom of England. But what will King Harald of England bid to King Harald of Norway for his toil in this matter?”

And the rider answered: “Seven foot of England shall he have, or so much more as he is higher than other men.” Then said Earl Tosti: “Fare ye back, and tell King Harald to make ready for battle.” And the England men rode back.

And King Harald of Norway said to Earl Tosti “Who was this smooth-spoken man?” And Tosti answered: “That was King Harald of England.”

And now the battle began. The Northmen held


themselves well, but soon the English riders had broken down their defence of shields, and they bore on them from all sides. And King Harald the Hardredy went into the hottest part of the battle, and hewed about him with both hands, and all who were nighest him fled. And while he was thus fighting an arrow smote him in the throat, and he fell, and this was his death.

And King Harald of England again offered peace to his brother Tosti, but Tosti would not take it, and the battle went on till nigh all the great men of the Northmen were fallen. And at the end of the day King Harald of England had gotten the victory.

And news came that Maria, the daughter of King Harald of Norway, had died suddenly at the very day and hour that her father fell.

And the next winter, the body of King Harald was brought out from England to Nidoyce, and laid in earth at Mary Church which he had himself built. He was fifty years old at the time of his death, and from the day he fought for his brother, King Olaf, at the battle of Sticklestead, when he was fifteen years old, to the end of his life was nought but uproar and battle and unpeace. But it was the talk of all men that he was a great King, and noble to behold, ever victorious and brave beyond all others, the swiftest in counsel, and full generous with gifts to his friends. Therefore did his memory live long in the land of Norway, and in Iceland the stories of his doughty deeds were told and sung from age to age.