Sagas & Legends
Egil goes abroad.
Egil heard tidings from east over the seas that Eric Bloodaxe had fallen in the west while freebooting; but Gunnhilda and her sons and Eric's had gone to Denmark, and all those that had followed Eric to England had left that country. This, too, he heard, that Arinbjorn was now come to Norway. He had taken again the grants and possessions that he had before, and had gotten great favour with the king. Then Egil thought it desirable again to go to Norway. Besides this came the tidings that king Athelstan was dead. His brother Edmund now ruled England.
So Egil made ready his ship, and got him a crew. Aunund Sjoni was among them, son of Ani of Anabrekka. Aunund was tall, and the strongest of those men who were then in the country-side; nay, some doubted whether he were not shape-strong. Aunund had often been on voyages from land to land. He was somewhat older than Egil; there had long been friendship between the two.
And when Egil was ready he put out to sea, and their voyage sped well; they came to Mid-Norway. And when they sighted land, they steered for the Firths. They soon got tidings from land, and it was told them that Arinbjorn was at home on his estate.
Egil put his ship into the haven nearest to Arinbjorn's house; then went he to seek Arinbjorn, and a most joyful meeting was theirs. Arinbjorn offered quarters to Egil and such of his men as he liked to bring. This Egil accepted, and had his ship set up on rollers; but his crew found them quarters. Egil and eleven with him went to Arinbjorn's. Egil had caused to be made a long ship's sail, elaborately worked; this he gave to Arinbjorn, and yet other gifts of value. Egil was there for the winter, treated with much honour.
In the winter Egil went southwards to Sogn to collect his land-rents, staying there some time. After that he came north again to the Firths. Arinbjorn held a great Yule-feast, to which he bade his friends and the neighbouring landowners. There was there much company and good cheer. Arinbjorn gave Egil as a Yule-gift a trailing robe made of silk, and richly broidered with gold, studded with gold buttons in front all down to the hem. Arinbjorn had had the robe made to fit Egil's stature. Arinbjorn gave also to Egil at Yule a complete suit newly made; it was cut of English cloth of many colours. Friendly gifts of many kinds gave Arinbjorn at Yule to those who were his guests, for Arinbjorn was beyond all men open-handed and noble.
Then Egil composed a stave:
'Warrior gave to poet
Silken robe gold-glistering:
Never shall I find me
Friend of better faith.
Earneth well his honours:
For his like the ages
Long may look in vain.'
Next: CHAPTER LXXI. Egil's sadness.