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The Earthly Paradise, (September-November), by William Morris, [1870], at

Gudrun twice Wedded, Widowed, and Wooed of Kiartan.

SO wore the time away, nor long it was
Ere somewhat of Guest's forecast came to pass.
Drawn by her beauty, Thorvald wooed Gudrun;
Saying withal that he was such an one
As fainer was to wed a wife than lands,
Readier by far to give forth from his hands
That which he had, than take aught of her kin.
And in such wise he did not fail to win
His fond desire, and, therewith, wretched life.
For she who deemed nought worth so much of strife
As to say 'no' for ever, being wed, found
How the chain galled whereto she now was bound,
And more and more began to look on him
With hate that would be scorn, with eyes grown dim
With hope of change that came not, and lips set
For ever with the stifling of regret.
Coarse Thorvald was, and rough and passionate,
And little used on change of days to wait;
And as she ever Bloomed before his eyes,
Rage took the place of the first grieved surprise,
Wherewith he found that he who needs must love p. 363
Could get no love in turn, nay, nor e’en move
Her heart to kindness: then as nothing strange
Still with sad loathing looks she took the change
She noted in him, as if all were done
Between them, and no deed beneath the sun
That he could do would now be worse to her.
   Judge if the hot heart of the man could bear
Such days as these! Upon a time it fell
That he, most fain indeed to love her well,
Would she but turn to him, had striven sore
To gain her love, and yet gat nothing more
Than a faint smile of scorn, ’neath eyes whose gaze
Seemed fixed for ever on the hoped-for days,
Wherein he no more should have part or lot;
Then mingled hate with love in him, and hot
His heart grew past all bearing; round about
He stared, as one who hears the eager shout
Of closing foes, when he to death is brought;
In his fierce heart thought crowded upon thought,
Till he saw not and heard not, but rose up
And cast upon the floor his half-filled cup,
And crying out, smote her upon the face;
Then strode adown the hushed and crowded place,
For meal-time was it, till he reached the door;
Then gat his horse, and over hill and moor,
Scarce knowing where he went, rode furiously.

   But in the hall, folk turned them round to see
What thing Gudrun would do, who for a while p. 364
Sat pale and silent, with a deadly smile
Upon her lips; then called to where she sat
Folk from the hall, and talked of this and that
Gaily, as one who hath no care or pain:
Yea, when the goodman gat him back again
She met him changed, so that he well-nigh thought
That better days his hasty blow had brought.
And still as time wore on, day after day
Wondering, he saw her seeming blithe and gay;
So he, though sore misdoubting him of this,
Took what he might of pleasure and of bliss,
And put thought back. So time wore till the spring,
And then the goodman rode unto the Thing,
Not over light of heart, or free from fear,
Though his wife's face at parting was all clear
Of frown or sullenness; but he being gone,
Next morn Gudrun rode with one man alone
Forth unto Bathstead; there her tale she told,
And as in those days law strained not to hold
Folk whom love held not, or some common tie,
So her divorce was set forth speedily,
For mighty were her kin.
                            And now once more
At Bathstead did she dwell, free as before,
And, smiling, heard of how her husband fared
When by the Hill of Laws he stood and heard
The words, that he belike half thought to hear,
Which took from him a thing once held so dear,
That all was nought thereby. p. 365
                                Now wise ones tell
That there was one who used to note her well
Within her husband's hall, and many say
That talk of love they had before the day
That she went back to Bathstead; how that was
I know not surely; but it came to pass
That scarcely had abated the first rage
Of her old mate, and scarce less like a cage
Of red-hot iron ’gan to feel his life,
Ere this man, Thord, had won Gudrun to wife;
So, since the man was brisk and brave and fair,
And she had known him when her days were drear,
And turned with hope and longing to his eyes,
Kind amid hard things, in most joyous wise
Their-life went, and she deemed she loved him well;
And the strange things that Guest did once foretell,
Which morn and noon and eve she used to set
Before her eyes, she now would fain forget;
Alas! forgotten or remembered, still
Midst joy or sorrow fate shall work its will;
Three months they lived in joy and peace enow,
Till on a June night did the south-west blow
The rainy rack o’er Gudrun's sleeping head,
While in the firth was rolled her husband dead
Toward the black cliffs; drowned was he, says my tale,
By wizard's spells amidst a summer gale.

   Then back to Bathstead Gudrun came again,
To sit with fierce heart brooding o’er her pain, p. 366
While life and time seemed made to torture her,
That she the utmost of all pain might bear,
To please she knew not whom; and yet mid this,
And all her raging for the vanished bliss,
Would Guest's words float up to her memory,
And quicken cold life; then would she cast by
As something vile the comfort that they brought,
Yet, none the less, still stronger grew that thought,
Unheeded, and unchidden therefore, round
The weary wall of woe, her life that bound.

   So wore the months; spring with its longings came,
And now in every mouth was Kiartan's name,
And daily now must Gudrun's dull ears bear
Tales of the prowess of his youth to hear,
While in his cairn forgotten lay her love.
For this man, said they, all men's hearts did move,
Nor yet might envy cling to such an one,
So far beyond all dwellers ’neath the sun;
Great was he, yet so fair of face and limb
That all folk wondered much, beholding him,
How such a man could be; no fear he knew,
And all in manly deeds he could outdo;
Fleet-foot, a swimmer strong, an archer good,
Keen-eyed to know the dark waves' changing mood;
Sure on the crag, and with the sword so skilled,
That when he played therewith the air seemed filled
With light of gleaming blades; therewith was he
Of noble speech, though says not certainly p. 367
My tale, that aught of his be left behind
With rhyme and measure deftly intertwined;
Well skilled was he, too, in the craftsman's lore
To deal with iron mid the stithy's roar,
And many a sword-blade knew his heavy hand.
Shortly, if he amid ten kings should stand,
All men would think him worthier man than they;
And yet withal it was his daily way
To be most gentle both of word and deed,
And ever folk would seek him in their need,
Nor was there any child but loved him well.

   Such things about him ever would men tell,
Until their hearts swelled in them as they thought
How great a glory to their land was brought,
Seeing that this man was theirs. Such love and praise
Kiartan's beginning had in those fair days,
While Gudrun sat sick-eyed, and hearkened this,
Still brooding on the late-passed days of bliss,
And thinking still how worthless such things were.

   But now when midsummer was drawing near,
As on an eve folk sat within the hall,
Man unto man far off did they hear call,
And then the sound of horse-hoofs; Oswif rose,
And went into the porch to look for those
Who might be coming, and at last folk heard,
Close to the porch, the new-come travellers’ word,
And turned to meet them; Gudrun sat alone p. 368
High on the dais when all folk were gone,
And playing with her golden finger-rings,
Set all her heart to think of bygone things,
Till hateful seemed all hopes, all thoughts of men.

   Yet did she turn unto their voices, when
Folk back again into the hall did crowd,
Torch-litten now, laughing and talking loud,
Then as the guests adown the long hall drew,
Olaf the Peacock presently she knew,
Hand in hand with her father; but behind
Came two young men; then rose up to her mind,
Against her will, the tales of Kiartan told,
Because she deemed the one, whose hair of gold
In the new torch-light gleamed, was even he,
And that the black-haired high-browed one must be
Bodli, the son of Thorleik; but with that
Up to the place where listlessly she sat,
They came, and on her feet she now must stand
To welcome them; then Olaf took her hand,
And looked on her with eyes compassionate,
And said:
           "O Gudrun, ill has been thy fate,
But surely better days shall soon be thine,
For not for nought do eyes like thine eyes shine
Upon the hard world; thou shalt bless us yet
In many a wise and all thy woes forget."   

She answered nought, but drew her hand away, p. 369
And heavier yet the weight upon her lay
That thus men spake of her. But, turning round,
Kiartan upon the other hand she found,
Gazing upon her with wide hungry eyes
And parted lips; then did strange joy surprise
Her listless heart, and changed her old world was;
Ere she had time to think, all woe did pass
Away from her, and all her life grew sweet,
And scarce she felt the ground beneath her feet,
Or knew who stood around, or in what place
Of heaven or earth she was; soft grew her face;
In tears that fell not yet, her eyes did swim,
As, trembling, she reached forth her hand to him,
And with the shame of love her smooth cheeks burned,
And her lips quivered, as if sore they yearned
For words they had not learned, and might not know
Till night and loneliness their form should show.

   But Kiartan's face a happy smile did light,
Kind, loving, confident; good hap and might
Seemed in his voice as now he spake, and said:
"They say the dead for thee will ne’er be dead,
And on this eve I thought in sooth to have
Labour enow to draw thee from the grave
Of the old days; but thou rememberest,
Belike, days earlier yet, that men call best
Of all days, when as younglings erst we met.
Thou thinkest now thou never didst forget p. 370
This face of mine, since now most certainly
The eyes are kind wherewith thou lookst on me."   

A shade came o’er her face, but quickly passed,
"Yea," said she, "if such pleasant days might last,
As when we wandered laughing hand in hand
Along the borders of the shell-strewn strand."

   She wondered at the sound of her own voice,
She chid her heart that it must needs rejoice,
She marvelled why her soul with fear was filled;
But quickly every questioning was stilled
As he sat down by her.
                        Old Oswif smiled
To see her sorrow in such wise beguiled,
And Olaf laughed for joy, and many a thought
Of happy loves to Bodli's heart was brought
As by his friend he sat, and saw his face
So bright with bliss; and all the merry place
Ran over with goodwill that sight to see,
And the hours passed in great festivity.
   At last beneath the glimmer of the moon,
Fanned by the soft sea-wind that tempers June,
Homeward they rode, sire, son and foster-son,
Kiartan half joyful that the eve was done,
And he had leisure for himself to weave
Tales of the joyful way that from that eve
Should lead to perfect bliss; Bodli no less
Rejoicing in his fellow's happiness, p. 371
Dreaming of such-like joy to come to him,
And Olaf, thinking how that nowise dim
The glory of his line through these should grow.

   But while in peace these through the night did go,
Vexed by new thoughts and old thoughts, Gudrun lay
Upon her bed: she watched him go away,
And her heart sank within her, and there came,
With pain of that departing, pity and shame,
That struggling with her love yet made it strong,
That called her longing blind, yet made her long
Yet more for more desire, what seeds soe’er
Of sorrow hate and ill were hidden there.
So with her strong heart wrestled love, till she
Sank ’neath the hand of sleep, and quietly
Beneath the new-risen sun she lay at rest,
The bed-gear fallen away from her white breast,
"One arm deep buried in her hair, one spread
Abroad, across the ’broideries of the bed,
A smile upon her lips, and yet a tear,
Scarce dry, but stayed anigh her dainty ear—
How fair, how soft, how kind she seemed that morn,
Ere she anew to love and life was born.

   A little space to part these twain indeed
Was seven short miles of hill and moor and mead,
And soon the threshold of the Bathstead hall
Knew nigh as much of Kiartan's firm footfall
As of the sweep of Gudrun's kirtle-hem, p. 372
And sweet past words to tell life grew to them;
Sweet the awaking in the morn, when lay
Below the hall the narrow winding way,
The friend that led, the foe that kept apart;
And sweet the joyful flutter of the heart
Anigh the door, ere clinging memory
Gave place to rapturous sight, and eye met eye;
Sweet the long hours of converse when each word
Like fairest music still seemed doubly heard,
Caught by the ear and clung to by the heart;
Yea, even most sweet the minute they must part,
Because the veil, that so oft time must draw
Before them, fell, and clear without a flaw,
Their hearts saw love, that moment they did stand
Ere lip left lip, or hand fell down from hand;
Yea, that passed o’er, still sweet and bitter sweet
The yearning pain that stayed the lingering feet
Upon the threshold, and the homeward way;
And silent chamber covered up from day
For thoughts of words unsaid—ah, sweet the night
Amidst its dreams of manifold delight!

   And yet sometimes pangs of perplexed pain
Would torture Gudrun, as she thought again
On Guest and his forecasting of her dream;
And through the dark of days to come would gleam
.Fear, like a flame of hell shot suddenly
Up through spring meadows ’twixt fair tree and tree,
Though little might she see the flaws, whereof p. 373
That past dream warned her, midst her dream of love;
And whatso things her eyes refused to see,
Made wise by fear, none others certainly
Might see in love so seeming smooth as this,
That looked to all men like the door of bliss
Unto the twain, and to the country-side
Good hope and joy, that thus so fast were tied
The bonds ’twixt two such houses as were these,
And folk before them saw long years of peace.

   Of Bodli Thorleikson the story says,
That he, o’ershadowed still by Kiartan's praise,
Was second but to him; although, indeed,
He, who perchance the love of men did need
More than his fellow, less their hearts might move;
Yet fair to all men seemed the trust and love
Between the friends, and fairer unto none
Than unto Olaf, who scarce loved his son
More than his brother's son; now seemed it too,
That this new love closer the kinsmen drew
Than e’en before, and whatso either did
The other knew, and scarce their thoughts seemed hid,
One from the other.
                       So as day by day
Went Kiartan unto Bathstead, still the way
Seemed shorter if his friend beside him rode;
Then might he ease his soul of that great load
Of love unsatisfied, by words, and take
Mockeries in turn, grown sweet for that name's sake p. 374
They wrapped about, or glow with joy to hear
The praises of the heart he held so dear,
And laugh with joy and pleasure of his life,
To note how Bodli's heart withal, seemed rife
With love that his love kindled, though as yet
It wandered, on no heart of woman set.
So Bodli, nothing loth, went many a day,
Whenso they would, to make the lovers gay,
Whenso they would, to get him gone, that these
E’en with such yearning words their souls might please
As must be spoken, but sound folly still
To aught but twain, because no tongue hath skill
To tell their meaning: kinder, Kiartan deemed,
Grew Bodli day by day, and ever seemed
Well-nigh as happy as the loving twain,
And unto Bodli life seemed nought but gain,
And fair the days were.
                            On a day it fell
As the three talked, they ’gan in sport to tell
The names o’er of such women good and fair,
As in the land that tide unwedded were,
Naming a mate for Bodli, and still he
Must laugh and shake his head;
                               "Then over sea,"
Quoth Kiartan, "mayhap such an one there is
That thou mayst deem the getting of her bliss;
Go forth and win her with the rover's sword!"

   Then Bodli laughed, and cast upon the board p. 375
The great grey blade and ponderous iron hilt,
All unadorned, the yoke-fellow of guilt,
And said, "Go, sword, and fetch me home a bride!
But here in Iceland have I will to bide
With those that love me, till the fair days change."

   Then Gudrun said, "Things have there been more strange,
Than that we three should sit above the oars,
The while on even keel ’twixt the low shores
Our long-ship breasts the Thames flood, or the Seine.
Methinks in biding here is little gain,
Cooped up in this cold corner of the world."

   Then up sprang Kiartan, seized the sword, and hurled
Its weight aloft, and caught it by the hilt
As down it fell, and cried, "Would that the tilt
Were even now being rigged above the ship!
Would that we stood to see the oars first dip
In the green waves! nay, rather would that we
Above the bulwarks now saw Italy,
With all its beacons flaring! Sheathe thy sword,
Fair foster-brother, till I say the word
That draws it forth; and, Gudrun, never fear
That thou a word or twain of me shalt hear,
E’en if the birds must bear them o’er the sea."

   Her eyes were fixed upon him lovingly
As thus he spake, and Bodli smiling saw p. 376
Her hand to Kiartan's ever nigher draw;
Then he rose up and sheathed the sword, and said,
"Nay, rather if I be so hard to wed,
I yet must think of roving, so I go
To talk to Oswif, all the truth to know
About the news the chapmen carried here,
That Olaf Tryggvison his sword doth rear
’Gainst Hacon and his fortune."
He laughed, and gat him swiftly from the hall,
And found the old man, nor came back again
Until through sun and shadow had the twain
Sat long together, and the hall ’gan fill.
Then did he deem his friend sat somewhat still,
And something strange he saw in Gudrun's eyes
As she gazed on him; nor did fail to rise
In his own heart the shadow of a shade,
That made him deem the world less nobly made,
And yet was like to pleasure. On the way
Back home again, not much did Kiartan say,
And what he spake was well-nigh mockery
Of speech, wherewith he had been wont to free
His heart from longings grown too sweet to bear.
But time went on, and still the days did wear
With little seeming change; if love grew cold
In Kiartan's heart one day, the next o’er bold,
O’er frank, he noted not who might be by,
When he unto his love was drawing nigh;
Gudrun gloomed not; as merry as before p. 377
Did Bodli come and go ’twixt dais and door.
Only perchance a little oftener they
Fell upon talk of the fair lands that lay
Across the seas, and sometimes would a look
Cross Gudrun's face that seemed a half rebuke
To Kiartan, as all over-eagerly
He talked about the life beyond the sea,
As thereof he had heard the stories tell.
Then Bodli sometimes into musings fell,
So dreamlike, that he might not tell his thought
When he again to common life was brought.

   So passed the seasons, but in autumn-tide
The foster-brothers did to Burgfirth ride,
Unto a ship new come to White-river;
Talk with the outland chapmen had they there,
And Kiartan bade the captain in the end
p Back unto Herdholt as his guest to wend,—
And nothing loth he went with him; and now
Great tidings thereupon began to show
Of Hacon slain, his son thrust from the land,
And Norway in fair peace beneath the hand
Of Olaf Tryggvison; nor did he fail
To tell about the king full many a tale,
And praise him for the noblest man, that e’er
Had held the tiller, or cast forth the spear:
And Kiartan listened eagerly, yet seemed
As if amid the tale he well-nigh dreamed;
And now withal, when he to Bathstead went, p. 378
Less than before would talk of his intent
To see the outlands, to his listening love;
And when at whiles she spake to him thereof
Lightly he answered her, and smile or kiss
Would change their talk to idle words of bliss:
Less of her too to Bodli now he spake,
Although this other, (for her beauty's sake
He told himself) to hear of her was fain;
And he, for his part, sometimes felt a pain,
As though the times were changing over fast,
When Kiartan let the word of his go past
Unnoted, that in other days belike
Had nowise failed from out his heart to strike
The sparks of lovesome praise.
                                 But now Yule-tide
Was come at last, and folk from far and wide
Went to their neighbours' feasts, and as wont was
All Bathstead unto Herdholt hall did pass,
And the feast lasted long, and all folk gat
Things that their souls desired, and Gudrun sat
In the high-seat beside the goodwife there.

   But ever now her wary ears did hear
The new king's name bandied from mouth to mouth,
And talk of those new-corners from the south;
And through her anxious heart a sharp pain smote
As Kiartan's face she eagerly ’gan note
And sighed; because, leaned forward on the board,
He sat, with eager face hearkening each word, p. 379
Nor speaking aught; then long with hungry eyes
She sat regarding him, nor yet would rise
A word unto her lips: and all the while
Bodli gazed on them with a fading smile
About his lips, and eyes that ever grew
More troubled still, until he hardly knew
What folk were round about.
                              So passed away
Yule-tide at Herdholt, cold day following day,
Till spring was gone, and Gudrun had not failed
To win both many days where joy prevailed,
And many a pang of fear; till so it fell
That in the summer, whereof now we tell,
Upon a day in blithe mood Kiartan came
To Bathstead, not as one who looks for blame,
And Bodli with him, sad-eyed, silent, dull,
Noted of Gudrun, who no less was full
Of merry talk, yea, more than her wont was.
But as the hours toward eventide did pass,
Said Kiartan:
                "Love, make we the most of bliss,
For though, indeed, not the last day this is
Whereon we twain shall meet in such a wise,
Yet shalt thou see me soon in fighting guise,
And hear the horns blow up our Loth to go,
For in White-River—"
                          "Is it even so,"
She broke in, "that these feet abide behind?
Men call me hard, but thou hast known me kind; p. 380
Men call me fair, my body give I thee;
Men call me dainty, let the rough salt sea
Deal with me as it will, so thou be near!
Let me share glory with thee, and take fear
That thy heart throws aside!"
                             Hand joined to hand,
As one who prays, and trembling, did she stand
With parted lips, and pale and weary-faced.
But up and down the hall-floor Bodli paced
With clanking sword, and brows set in a frown,
And scarce less pale than she. The sun low down
Shone through the narrow windows of the hall,
And on the gold upon her breast did fall,
And gilt her slim clasped hands.
                                 There Kiartan stood
Gazing upon her in strange wavering mood,
Now longing sore to clasp her to his heart,
And pray her, too, that they might ne’er depart,
Now well-nigh ready to say such a word
As cutteth love across as with a sword;
So fought love in him with the craving vain
The love of all the wondering world to gain,
Though such he named it not. And so at last
His eyes upon the pavement did he cast,
And knit his brow as though some word to say;
Then fell her outstretched hands, she cried:
                                          "Nay, nay!
Thou need’st not speak, I will not ask thee twice
To take a gift, a good gift, and be wise; p. 381
I know my heart, thou know’st it not; farewell,
Maybe that other tales the Skalds shall tell
Than of thy great deeds."
                           Still her face was pale,
As with a sound betwixt a sigh and wail,
She brushed by Bodli, who, aghast, did stand
With open mouth, and vainly stretched-out hand;
But Kiartan followed her a step or two,
Then stayed, bewildered by his sudden woe;
But even therewith, as nigh the door she was,
She turned back suddenly, and straight did pass,
Trembling all over, to his side, and said,
With streaming eyes:
                    "Let not my words be weighed
As a man's words are! O, fair love, go forth
And come thou back again, made no more worth
Unto this heart; but worthier it may be
To the dull world thy worth that cannot see.
Go forth, and let the rumour of thee run
Through every land that is beneath the sun;
For know I not, indeed, that everything
Thou winnest at the hands of lord or king,
Is surely mine, as thou art mine at last?"

   Then round about his neck her arms she cast,
And wept right sore, and touched with love and shame,
Must Kiartan offer to leave hope of fame,
And noble life; but midst her tears she smiled, p. 382
"Go forth, my love, and be thou not beguiled
By woman's tears, I spake but as a fool,
We of the north wrap not our men in wool,
Lest they should die at last; nay, be not moved,
To think that thou a faint-heart fool hast loved!"

   For now his tears fell too, he said: "My sweet,
Ere the ship sails we yet again shall meet
To say farewell, a little while, and then,
When I come back to hold my place mid men,
With honour won for thee—how fair it is
To think on now, the sweetness and the bliss!"

   Some little words she said no pen could write,
Upon his face she laid her fingers white,
And, midst of kisses, with his hair did play;
Then, smiling through her tears, she went away.
Nor heeded Bodli aught—
                        —Men say the twain,
Kiartan and Gudrun, never met again
In loving wise; that each to each no more
Their eyes looked kind on this side death's dark shore,
That midst their tangled life they must forget,
Till they were dead, that ere their lips had met.

   For ere the day that Kiartan meant to come
And kiss his love once more within her home,
The south-east wind, that had stayed hitherto
Their sailing, changed, and northwest now it blew; p. 383
And Kálf, the captain, urged them to set forth,
Because that tide the wind loved not the north,
And now the year grew late for long delay.
Night was it when he spake; at dawn next day,
Before the door at Herdholt might men see,
Armed, and in saddle, a goodly company.
Kiartan, bright-eyed and flushed, restless withal,
As on familiar things his eyes did fall,
Yet eager to be gone, and smiling still,
For pride and hope and love his soul did fill,
As of his coming life he thought, and saw
In all the days that were to be, no flaw.
About him were his fellows, ten such men
As in the land had got no equals then;
By him his foster-brother sat, as true
As was the steel the rover's hand erst drew;
There stood his father, flushed with joy and pride,
By the fair-carven door that did abide,
Till he fulfilled of glory came again
To take his bride before the eyes of men.

   Now skipper Kálf, clad in the Peacock's gift,
Unto the south his gold-wrought spear did lift,
And Kiartan stooped and kissed his sire. A shout
Rose from the home-men, as they turned about,
And trotted jingling down the grassy knoll.
Silent awhile rode Kiartan, till his soul,
Filled with a many thoughts, in speech o’erflowed,
And unto Bodli, who beside him rode, p. 384
He fell to talk of all that they should do
In the fair countries that they journeyed to.
Not Norway only, or the western lands,
In time to come, he said, might know their hands,
But fairer places, folk of greater fame,
Where ’neath the shadow of the Roman name
Sat the Greek king, gold-clad, with bloodless sword.
But as he spoke Bodli said here a word
And there a word, and knew not what he said,
Nay, scarcely knew what wild thoughts filled his head,
What longings burned, like a still quickening flame,
Within his sad heart.
                       So that night they came
To Burg-firth and the place upon the strand
Where by the ready ship the tents did stand,
And there they made good cheer, and slept that night,
But on the morrow, with the earliest light,
They gat a ship-board, and, all things being done,
Upon a day when low clouds hid the sun,
And ’neath the harsh north-west down drave the rain,
They drew the gangway to the ship again,
And ran the oars out. There did Kiartan stand
By Kálf, who took the tiller in his hand
And conned the rising bows; but when at last
Toward the grey sky the wet oar-blades were cast,
And space ’twixt stern and land ’gan widen now,
Kiartan cried out and ran forth to the prow,
While rope and block yet beat confusedly,
And shook his drawn sword o’er the dark grey sea; p. 385
And step for step behind him Bodli went,
And on his sword-hilt, with a like intent,
He laid his hand, and half drew from its sheath
The rover's sword; then with a deep-drawn breath,
Most like a sigh, he thrust it back again,
His face seemed sharpened with a sudden pain.
He turned him round the driving scud to face,
His breast heaved, and he staggered in his place,
And stretched his strong arms forth with a low moan
Unto the hidden hills, ’neath which alone
Sat Gudrun—sat his love—and therewithal
Down did the bows into the black trough fall,
Up rose the oar-song, through the waters grey,
Unto the south the good ship took her way.

Next: The Dealings of King Olaf Tryggvison with the Icelanders