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 This saga might be called Gunhild's Saga, as she is the chief
 person in it.  The reign of King Harald and Earl Hakon is more
 fully described in the next saga, that is, Olaf Trygvason's.
 Other literature on this epoch:
 "Agrip" (chap. 8), "Historia Norvegia", (p. 12), "Thjodrek"
 (chap. 5), "Saxo" (pp. 479-482), "Egla" (chaps. 81, 82),
 "Floamanna" (chap. 12), "Fareyinga" (chaps. 2, 4, 10), "Halfred's
 Saga" (chap. 2), "Hord Grimkelsons Saga" (chaps. 13, 18),
 "Kormak" (chaps. 19-27), "Laxdaela" (chaps. 19-21), "Njala"
 (chaps, 3-6).
 The skalds of this saga are: -- Glum Geirason, Kormak Agmundson,
 Eyvind Skaldaspiller, and Einar Helgason Skalaglam.
 When King Hakon was killed, the sons of Eirik took the
 sovereignty of Norway.  Harald, who was the oldest of the living
 brothers, was over them in dignity.  Their mother Gunhild, who
 was called the King-mother, mixed herself much in the affairs of
 the country.  There were many chiefs in the land at that time.
 There was Trygve Olafson in the Eastland, Gudrod Bjornson in
 Vestfold, Sigurd earl of Hlader in the Throndhjem land; but
 Gunhild's sons held the middle of the country the first winter.
 There went messages and ambassadors between Gunhild's sons and
 Trygve and Gudrod, and all was settled upon the footing that they
 should hold from Gunhild's sons the same part of the country
 which they formerly had held under King Hakon.  A man called Glum
 Geirason, who was King Harald's skald, and was a very brave man,
 made this song upon King Hakon's death: --
      "Gamle is avenged by Harald!
      Great is thy deed, thou champion bold!
      The rumour of it came to me
      In distant lands beyond the sea,
      How Harald gave King Hakon's blood
      To Odin's ravens for their food."
 This song was much favoured.  When Eyvind Finson heard of it he
 composed the song which was given before, viz.: --
      "Our dauntless king with Gamle's gore
      Sprinkled his bright sword o'er and o'er," &c.
 This song also was much favoured, and was spread widely abroad;
 and when King Harald came to hear of it, he laid a charge against
 Evyind affecting his life; but friends made up the quarrel, on
 the condition that Eyvind should in future be Harald's skald, as
 he had formerly been King Hakon's.  There was also some
 relationship between them, as Gunhild, Eyvind's mother, was a
 daughter of Earl Halfdan, and her mother was Ingibjorg, a
 daughter of Harald Harfager.  Thereafter Eyvind made a song about
 King Harald: --
      "Guardian of Norway, well we know
      Thy heart failed not when from the bow
      The piercing arrow-hail sharp rang
      On shield and breast-plate, and the clang
      Of sword resounded in the press
      Of battle, like the splitting ice;
      For Harald, wild wolf of the wood,
      Must drink his fill of foeman's blood."
 Gunhild's sons resided mostly in the middle of the country, for
 they did not think it safe for them to dwell among the people of
 Throndhjem or of Viken, where King Hakon's best friends lived;
 and also in both places there were many powerful men.  Proposals
 of agreement then passed between Gunhild~s sons and Earl Sigurd,
 œor they got no scat from the Throndhjem country; and at last an
 agreement was concluded between the kings and the earl, and
 confirmed by oath.  Earl Sigurd was to get the same power in the
 Throndhjem land which he had possessed under King Hakon, and on
 that they considered themselves at peace.  All Gunhild's sons had
 the character of being penurious; and it was said they hid their
 money in the ground.  Eyvind Skaldaspiller made a song about
 this: --
      "Main-mast of battle!  Harald bold!
      In Hakon's days the skald wore gold
      Upon his falcon's seat; he wore
      Rolf Krake's seed, the yellow ore
      Sown by him as he fled away,
      The avenger Adils' speed to stay.
      The gold crop grows upon the plain;
      But Frode's girls so gay (1) in vain
      Grind out the golden meal, while those
      Who rule o'er Norway's realm like foes,
      In mother earth's old bosom hide
      The wealth which Hakon far and wide
      Scattered with generous hand: the sun
      Shone in the days of that great one,
      On the gold band of Fulla's brow,(2)
      On gold-ringed hands that bend the bow,
      On the skald's hand; but of the ray
      Of bright gold, glancing like the spray
      Of sun-lit waves, no skald now sings --
      Buried are golden chains and rings."
 Now when King Harald heard this song, he sent a message to Eyvind
 to come to him, and when Eyvind came made a charge against him of
 being unfaithful.  "And it ill becomes thee," said the king, "to
 be my enemy, as thou hast entered into my service."  Eyvind then
 made these verses: --
      "One lord I had before thee, Harald!
      One dear-loved lord!  Now am I old,
      And do not wish to change again, --
      To that loved lord, through strife and pain,
      Faithful I stood; still true to Hakon, --
      To my good king, and him alone.
      But now I'm old and useless grown,
      My hands are empty, wealth is flown;
      I am but fir for a short space
      In thy court-hall to fill a place."
 But King Harald forced Eyvind to submit himself to his clemency.
 Eyvind had a great gold ring, which was called Molde, that had
 been dug up out of the earth long since.  This ring the King said
 he must have as the mulet for the offence; and there was no help
 for it.  Then Eyvind sang: --
      "I go across the ocean-foam,
      Swift skating to my Iceland home
      Upon the ocean-skates, fast driven
      By gales by Thurse's witch fire given.
      For from the falcon-bearing hand
      Harald has plucked the gold snake band
      My father wore -- by lawless might
      Has taken what is mine by right."
 Eyvind went home; but it is not told that he ever came near the
 king again.
 (1)  Menja and Fenja were strong girls of the giant race, whom
      Frode bought in Sweden to grind gold and good luck to him;
      and their meal means gold. -- L.
 (2)  Fulla was one of Frig's attendants, who wore a gold band on
      the forehead, and the figure means gold, -- that the sun
      shone on gold rings on the hands of the skalds in Hakon's
      days. -- L.
 Gunhild's sons embraced Christianity in England, as told before;
 but when they came to rule over Norway they made no progress in
 spreading Christianity -- only they pulled down the temples of
 the idols, and cast away the sacrifices where they had it in
 their power, and raised great animosity by doing so.  The good
 crops of the country were soon wasted in their days, because
 there were many kings, and each had his court about him.  They
 had therefore great expenses, and were very greedy.  Besides,
 they only observed those laws of King Hakon which suited
 themselves.  They were, however, all of them remarkably handsome
 men -- stout, strong, and expert in all exercises.  So says Glum
 Geirason, in the verses he composed about Harald, Gunhild's son:
      "The foeman's terror, Harald bold,
      Had gained enough of yellow gold;
      Had Heimdal's teeth (1) enough in store,
      And understood twelve arts or more."
 The brothers sometimes went out on expeditions together, and
 sometimes each on his own account.  They were fierce, but brave
 and active; and great warriors, and very successful.
 (1)  Heimdal was one of the gods, whose horse was called Gold-
      top; and the horse's teeth were of gold.
 Gunhild the King-mother, and her sons, often met, and talked
 together upon the government of the country.  Once Gunhild asked
 her sons what they intended to do with their kingdom of
 Throndhjem.  "Ye have the title of king, as your forefathers had
 before you; but ye have little land or people, and there are many
 to divide with.  In the East, at Viken, there are Trygve and
 Gudrod; and they have some right, from relationship, to their
 governments.  There is besides Earl Sigurd ruling over the whole
 Throndhjem country; and no reason can I see why ye let so large a
 kingdom be ruled by an earl, and not by yourselves.  It appears
 wonderful to me that ye go every summer upon viking cruises
 against other lands, and allow an earl within the country to take
 your father's heritage from you.  Your grandfather, whose name
 you bear, King Harald, thought it but a small matter to take an
 earl's life and land when he subdued all Norway, and held it
 under him to old age."
 Harald replied, "It is not so easy, mother, to cut off Earl
 Sigurd as to slay a kid or a calf.  Earl Sigurd is of high birth,
 powerful in relations, popular, and prudent; and I think if the
 Throndhjem people knew for certain there was enmity between us,
 they would all take his side, and we could expect only evil from
 them.  I don't think it would be safe for any of us brothers to
 fall into the hands of the Throndhjem people."
 Then said Gunhild, "We shall go to work another way, and not put
 ourselves forward.  Harald and Erling shall come in harvest to
 North More, and there I shall meet you, and we shall consult
 together what is to be done."  This was done.
 Earl Sigurd had a brother called Grjotgard, who was much younger,
 and much less respected; in fact, was held in no title of honour. 
 He had many people, however, about him, and in summer went on
 viking cruises, and gathered to himself property.  Now King
 Harald sent messengers to Throndhjem with offers of friendship,
 and with presents.  The messengers declared that King Harald was
 willing to be on the same friendly terms with the earl that King
 Hakon had been; adding, that they wished the earl to come to King
 Harald, that their friendship might be put on a firm footing. 
 The Earl Sigurd received well the king's messengers and friendly
 message, but said that on account of his many affairs he could
 not come to the king.  He sent many friendly gifts, and many glad
 and grateful words to the king, in return for his friendship. 
 With this reply the messengers set off, and went to Grjotgard,
 for whom they had the same message, and brought him good
 presents, and offered him King Harald's friendship, and invited
 him to visit the king.  Grjotgard promised to come and at the
 appointed time he paid a visit to King Harald and Gunhild, and
 was received in the most friendly manner.  They treated him on
 the most intimate footing, so that Grjotgard had access to their
 private consultations and secret councils.  At last the
 conversation, by an understanding between the king and queen, was
 turned upon Earl Sigurd; and they spoke to Grjotgard about the
 earl having kept him so long in obscurity, and asked him if he
 would not join the king's brothers in an attack on the earl.  If
 he would join with them, the king promised Grjotgard that he
 should be his earl, and have the same government that Sigurd had.
 It came so far that a secret agreement was made between them,
 that Grjotgard should spy out the most favourable opportunity of
 attacking by surprise Earl Sigurd, and should give King Harald
 notice of it.  After this agreement Grjotgard returned home with
 many good presents from the king.
 Earl Sigurd went in harvest into Stjoradal to guest-quarters, and
 from thence went to Oglo to a feast.  The earl usually had many
 people about him, for he did not trust the king; but now, after
 friendly messages had passed between the king and him, he had no
 great following of people with him.  Then Grjotgard sent word to
 the king that he could never expect a better opportunity to fall
 upon Earl Sigurd; and immediately, that very evening, Harald and
 Erling sailed into Throndhjem fjord with several ships and many
 people.  They sailed all night by starlight, and Grjotgard came
 out to meet them.  Late in the night they came to Oglo, where
 Earl Sigurd was at the feast, and set fire to the house; and
 burnt the house, the earl, and all his men.  As soon as it was
 daylight, they set out through the fjord, and south to More,
 where they remained a long time.
 Hakon, the son of Earl Sigurd, was up in the interior of the
 Throndhjem country when he heard this news.  Great was the tumult
 through all the Throndhjem land, and every vessel that could swim
 was put into the water; and as soon as the people were gathered
 together they took Earl Sigurd's son Hakon to be their earl and
 the leader of the troops, and the whole body steered out of
 Throndhjem fjord.  When Gunhild's sons heard of this, they set
 off southwards to Raumsdal and South More; and both parties kept
 eye on each other by their spies.  Earl Sigurd was killed two
 years after the fall of King Hakon (A.D. 962).  So says Eyvind
 Skaldaspiller in the "Haleygjatal": --
      "At Oglo. as I've heard, Earl Sigurd
      Was burnt to death by Norway's lord, --
      Sigurd, who once on Hadding's grave
      A feast to Odin's ravens gave.
      In Oglo's hall, amidst the feast,
      When bowls went round and ale flowed fast,
      He perished: Harald lit the fire
      Which burnt to death the son of Tyr."
 Earl Hakan, with the help of his friends, maintained himself in
 the Throndhjem country for three years; and during that time
 (A.D. 963-965) Gunhild's sons got no revenues from it.  Hakon had
 many a battle with Gunhild's sons, and many a man lost his life
 on both sides.  Of this Einar Skalaglam speaks in his lay, called
 "Vellekla," which he composed about Earl Hakon: --
      "The sharp bow-shooter on the sea
      Spread wide his fleet, for well loved he
      The battle storm: well loved the earl
      His battle-banner to unfurl,
      O'er the well-trampled battle-field
      He raised the red-moon of his shield;
      And often dared King Eirik's son
      To try the fray with the Earl Hakon."
 And he also says-
      "Who is the man who'll dare to say
      That Sigurd's son avoids the fray?
      He gluts the raven -- he ne'er fears
      The arrow's song or flight of spears,
      With thundering sword he storms in war,
      As Odin dreadful; or from far
      He makes the arrow-shower fly
      To swell the sail of victory.
      The victory was dearly bought,
      And many a viking-fight was fought
      Before the swinger of the sword
      Was of the eastern country lord."
 And Einar tells also how Earl Hakon avenged his father's
 murderer: --
      "I praise the man, my hero he,
      Who in his good ship roves the sea,
      Like bird of prey, intent to win
      Red vengeance for his slaughtered kin.
      From his blue sword the iron rain
      That freezes life poured down amain
      On him who took his father's life,
      On him and his men in the strife.
      To Odin many a soul was driven, --
      To Odin many a rich gift given.
      Loud raged the storm on battle-field --
      Axe rang on helm, and sword on shield."
 The friends on both sides at last laid themselves between, and
 brought proposals of peace; for the bondes suffered by this
 strife and war in the land.  At last it was brought to this, by
 the advice of prudent men, that Earl Hakon should have the same
 power in the Throndhjem land which his father Earl Sigurd had
 enjoyed; and the kings, on the other hand, should have the same
 dominion as King Hakon had: and this agreement was settled with
 the fullest promises of fidelity to it.  Afterwards a great
 friendship arose between Earl Hakon and Gunhild, although they
 sometimes attempted to deceive each other.  And thus matters
 stood for three years longer (A.D. 966-968), in which time Earl
 Hakon sat quietly in his dominions.
 King Hakon had generally his seat in Hordaland and Rogaland, and
 also his brothers; but very often, also, they went to Hardanger.
 One summer it happened that a vessel came from Iceland belonging
 to Icelanders, and loaded with skins and peltry.  They sailed to
 Hardanger, where they heard the greatest number of people
 assembled; but when the folks came to deal with them, nobody
 would buy their skins.  Then the steersman went to King Harald,
 whom he had been acquainted with before, and complained of his
 ill luck.  The king promised to visit him, and did so.  King
 Harald was very condescending, and full of fun.  He came with a
 fully manned boat, looked at the skins, and then said to the
 steersman, "Wilt thou give me a present of one of these gray-
 skins?"  "Willingly," said the steersman, "if it were ever so
 many."  On this the king wrapped himself up in a gray-skin, and
 went back to his boat; but before they rowed away from the ship,
 every man in his suite bought such another skin as the king wore
 for himself.  In a few days so many people came to buy skins,
 that not half of them could be served with what they wanted; and
 thereafter the king was called Harald Grafeld (Grayskin).
 Earl Hakon came one winter to the Uplands to a feast, and it so
 happened that he had intercourse with a girl of mean birth.  Some
 time after the girl had to prepare for her confinement, and she
 bore a child, a boy, who had water poured on him, and was named
 Eirik.  The mother carried the boy to Earl Hakon, and said that
 he was the father.  The earl placed him to be brought up with a
 man called Thorleif the Wise, who dwelt in Medaldal, and was a
 rich and powerful man, and a great friend of the earl.  Eirik
 gave hopes very early that he would become an able man, was
 handsome in countenance, and stout and strong for a child; but
 the earl did not pay much attention to him.  The earl himself was
 one of the handsomest men in countenance, -- not tall, but very
 strong, and well practised in all kinds of exercises; and witha1
 prudent, of good understanding, and a deadly man at arms.
 It happened one harvest (A.D. 962) that Earl Hakon, on a journey
 in the Uplands, came to Hedemark; and King Trygve Olafson and
 King Gudrod Bjornson met him there, and Dale-Gudbrand also came
 to the meeting.  They had agreed to meet, and they talked
 together long by themselves; but so much only was known of their
 business, that they were to be friends of each other.  They
 parted, and each went home to his own kingdom.  Gunhild and her
 sons came to hear of this meeting, and they suspected it must
 have been to lay a treasonable plot against the kings; and they
 often talked of this among themselves.  When spring (A.D. 963)
 began to set in, King Harald and his brother King Gudrod
 proclaimed that they were to make a viking cruise, as usual,
 either in the West sea, or the Baltic.  The people accordingly
 assembled, launched the ships into the sea, and made themselves
 ready to sail.  When they were drinking the farewell ale, -- and
 they drank bravely, -- much and many things were talked over at
 the drink-table, and, among other things, were comparisons
 between different men, and at last between the kings themselves. 
 One said that King Harald excelled his brothers by far, and in
 every way.  On this King Gudrod was very angry, and said that he
 was in no respect behind Harald, and was ready to prove it. 
 Instantly both parties were so inflamed that they challenged each
 other to battle, and ran to their arms.  But some of the guests
 who were less drunk, and had more understanding, came between
 them, and quieted them; and each went to his ship, but nobody
 expected that they would all sail together.  Gudrod sailed east
 ward along the land, and Harald went out to sea, saying he would
 go to the westward; but when he came outside of the islands he
 steered east along the coast, outside of the rocks and isles.
 Gudrod, again, sailed inside, through the usual channel, to
 Viken, and eastwards to Folden.  He then sent a message to King
 Trygve to meet him, that they might make a cruise together in
 summer in the Baltic to plunder.  Trygve accepted willingly, and
 as a friend, the invitation; and as heard King Gudrod had but few
 people with him, he came to meet him with a single boat.  They
 met at Veggen, to the east of Sotanes; but just as they were come
 to the meeting place, Gudrod's men ran up and killed King Trygve
 and twelve men.  He lies buried at a place called Trygve's Cairn
 (A.D. 963).
 King Harald sailed far outside of the rocks and isles; but set
 his course to Viken, and came in the night-time to Tunsberg, and
 heard that Gudrod Bjornson was at a feast a little way up the
 country.  Then King Harald set out immediately with his
 followers, came in the night, and surrounded the house.  King
 Gudrod Bjornson went out with his people; but after a short
 resistance he fell, and many men with him.  Then King Harald
 joined his brother King Gudrod, and they subdued all Viken.
 King Gudrod Bjornson had made a good and suitable marriage, and
 had by his wife a son called Harald, who had been sent to be
 fostered to Grenland to a lenderman called Hroe the White. 
 Hroe's son, called Hrane Vidforle (the Far-travelled), was
 Harald's foster-brother, and about the same age.  After his
 father Gudrod's fall, Harald, who was called Grenske, fled to the
 Uplands, and with him his foster-brother Hrane, and a few people.
 Harald staid a while there among his relations; but as Eirik's
 sons sought after every man who interfered with them, and
 especially those who might oppose them, Harald Grenske's friends
 and relations advised him to leave the country.  Harald therefore
 went eastward into Svithjod, and sought shipmates, that he might
 enter into company with those who went out a cruising to gather
 property.  Harald became in this way a remarkably able man. 
 There was a man in Svithjod at that time called Toste, one of the
 most powerful and clever in the land among those who had no high
 name or dignity; and he was a great warrior, who had been often
 in battle, and was therefore called Skoglar-Toste.  Harald
 Grenske came into his company, and cruised with Toste in summer;
 and wherever Harald came he was well thought of by every one.  In
 the winter Harald, after passing two years in the Uplands, took
 up his abode with Toste, and lived five years with him.  Toste
 had a daughter, who was both young and handsome, but she was
 proud and high-minded.  She was called Sigrid, and was afterwards
 married to the Swedish king, Eirik the Victorious, and had a son
 by him, called Olaf the Swede, who was afterwards king of
 Svithjod.  King Eirik died in a sick-bed at Upsala ten years
 after the death of Styrbjorn.
 Gunhild's sons levied a great army in Viken (A.D. 963), and
 sailed along the land northwards, collecting people and ships on
 the way out of every district.  They then made known their
 intent, to proceed northwards with their army against Earl Hakon
 in Throndhjem.  When Earl Hakon heard this news, he also
 collected men, and fitted out ships; and when he heard what an
 overwhelming force Gunhild's sons had with them, he steered south
 with his fleet to More, pillaging wherever he came, and killing
 many people.  He then sent the whole of the bonde army back to
 Throndhjem; but he himself, with his men-at-arms, proceeded by
 both the districts of More and Raumsdal, and had his spies out to
 the south of Stad to spy the army of Gunhild's sons; and when he
 heard they were come into the Fjords, and were waiting for a fair
 wind to sail northwards round Stad, Earl Hakon set out to sea
 from the north side of Stad, so far that his sails could not be
 seen from the land, and then sailed eastward on a line with the
 coast, and came to Denmark, from whence he sailed into the
 Baltic, and pillaged there during the summer.  Gunhild's sons
 conducted their army north to Throndhjem, and remained there the
 whole summer collecting the scat and duties.  But when summer was
 advanced they left Sigurd Slefa and Gudron behind; and the other
 brothers returned eastward with the levied army they had taken up
 in summer.
 Earl Hakon, towards harvest (A.D. 963), sailed into the Bothnian
 Gulf to Helsingjaland, drew his ships up there on the beach, and
 took the land-ways through Helsingjaland and Jamtaland, and so
 eastwards round the dividing ridge (the Kjol, or keel of the
 country), and down into the Throndhjem district.  Many people
 streamed towards him, and he fitted out ships.  When the sons of
 Gunhild heard of this they got on board their ships, and sailed
 out of the Fjord; and Earl Hakon came to his seat at Hlader, and
 remained there all winter.  The sons of Gunhild, on the other
 hand, occupied More; and they and the earl attacked each other in
 turns, killing each other's people. Earl Hakon kept his dominions
 of Throndhjem, and was there generally in the winter; but in
 summer he sometimes went to Helsingjaland, where he went on board
 of his ships and sailed with them down into the Baltic, and
 plundered there; and sometimes he remained in Throndhjem, and
 kept an army on foot, so that Gunhild's sons could get no hold
 northwards of Stad.
 One summer Harald Grayskin with his troops went north to
 Bjarmaland, where be forayed, and fought a great battle with the
 inhabitants on the banks of the Vina (Dwina).  King Harald gained
 the victory, killed many people, plundered and wasted and burned
 far and wide in the land, and made enormous booty.  Glum Geirason
 tells of it thus: --
      "I saw the hero Harald chase
      With bloody sword Bjarme's race:
      They fly before him through the night,
      All by their burning city's light.
      On Dwina's bank, at Harald's word,
      Arose the storm of spear and sword.
      In such a wild war-cruise as this,
      Great would he be who could bring peace."
 King Sigurd Slefa came to the Herse Klyp's house.  Klyp was a son
 of Thord, and a grandson of Hordakare, and was a man of power and
 great family.  He was not at home; but his wife Alof give a good
 reception to the king, and made a great feast at which there was
 much drinking.  Alof was a daughter of Asbjorn, and sister to
 Jarnskegge, north in Yrjar.  Asbjorn's brother was called
 Hreidar, who was father to Styrkar, whose son was Eindride,
 father of Einar Tambaskielfer.  In the night the king went to bed
 to Alof against her will, and then set out on his journey.  The
 harvest thereafter, King Harald and his brother King Sigurd Slefa
 went to Vors, and summoned the bondes to a Thing.  There the
 bondes fell on them, and would have killed them, but they escaped
 and took different roads.  King Harald went to Hardanger, but
 King Sigurd to Alrekstader.  Now when the Herse Klyp heard of
 this, he and his relations assembled to attack the king; and
 Vemund Volubrjot (1) was chief of their troop.  Now when they
 came to the house they attacked the king, and Herse Klyp, it is
 said, ran him through with his sword and killed him; but
 instantly Klyp was killed on the spot by Erling Gamle (A.D. 965).
 (1)  Volubrjotr. -- Literally "the one who breaks the vala", that
      is, breaks the skulls of witches.
 King Harald Grafeld and his brother King Gudrod gathered together
 a great army in the east country, with which they set out
 northwards to Throndhjem (A.D. 968).  When Earl Hakon heard of it
 he collected men, and set out to More, where he plundered.  There
 his father's brother, Grjotgard, had the command and defence of
 the country on account of Gunhild's sons, and he assembled an
 army by order of the kings.  Earl Hakon advanced to meet him, and
 gave him battle; and there fell Grjotgard and two other earls,
 and many a man besides.  So says Einar Skalaglam: --
      "The helm-crown'd Hakon, brave as stout,
      Again has put his foes to rout.
      The bowl runs o'er with Odin's mead, (1)
      That fires the skald when mighty deed
      Has to be sung.  Earl Hakon's sword,
      In single combat, as I've heard,
      Three sons of earls from this one fray
      To dwell with Odin drove away." (2)
 Thereafter Earl Hakon went out to sea, and sailed outside the
 coast, and came to Denmark.  He went to the Danish King, Harald
 Gormson, and was well received by him, and staid with him all
 winter (A.D. 969).  At that time there was also with the Danish
 king a man called Harald, a son of Knut Gormson, and a brother's
 son of King Harald.  He was lately come home from a long viking
 cruise, on which he had gathered great riches, and therefore he
 was called Gold Harald.  He thought he had a good chance of
 coming to the Danish kingdom.
 (1)  Odin's mead, called Bodn, was the blood or mead the sons of
      Brage, the god of poets, drank to inspire them. -- L.
 (2)  To dwell with Odin, -- viz. slew them. -- L.
 King Harald Grafeld and his brothers proceeded northwards to
 Throndhjem, where they met no opposition.  They levied the
 scat-duties, and all other revenues, and laid heavy penalties
 upon the bondes; for the kings had for a long time received but
 little income from Throndhjem, because Earl Hakon was there with
 many troops, and was at variance with these kings.  In autumn
 (A.D. 968) King Harald went south with the greater part of the
 men-at-arms, but King Erlin remained behind with his men.  He
 raised great contributions from the bondes, and pressed severely
 on them; at which the bondes murmured greatly, and submitted to
 their losses with impatience.  In winter they gathered together
 in a great force to go against King Erling, just as he was at a
 feast; and they gave battle to him, and he with the most of his
 men fell (A.D. 969).
 While Gunhild's sons reigned in Norway the seasons were always
 bad, and the longer they reigned the worse were the crops; and
 the bondes laid the blame on them. They were very greedy, and
 used the bondes harshly.  It came at length to be so bad that
 fish, as well as corn, were wanting.  In Halogaland there was the
 greatest famine and distress; for scarcely any corn grew, and
 even snow was lying, and the cattle were bound in the byres (1)
 all over the country until midsummer.  Eyvind Skaldaspiller
 describes it in his poem, as he came outside of his house and
 found a thick snowdrift at that season: --
      "Tis midsummer, yet deep snows rest
      On Odin's mother's frozen breast:
      Like Laplanders, our cattle-kind
      In stall or stable we must bind."
 (1)  Byres = gards or farms.
 Eyvind composed a poem about the people of Iceland, for which
 they rewarded him by each bonde giving him three silver pennies,
 of full weight and white in the fracture.  And when the silver
 was brought together at the Althing, the people resolved to have
 it purified, and made into a row of clasps; and after the
 workmanship of the silver was paid, the row of clasps was valued
 at fifty marks.  This they sent to Eyvind; but Eyvind was obliged
 to separate the clasps from each other, and sell them to buy food
 for his household.  But the same spring a shoal of herrings set
 in upon the fishing ground beyond the coast-side, and Eyvind
 manned a ship's boat with his house servants and cottars, and
 rowed to where the herrings were come, and sang: --
      "Now let the steed of ocean bound
      O'er the North Sea with dashing sound:
      Let nimble tern and screaming gull
      Fly round and round -- our net is full.
      Fain would I know if Fortune sends
      A like provision to my friends.
      Welcome provision 'tis, I wot,
      That the whale drives to our cook's pot."
 So entirely were his movable goods exhausted, that he was obliged
 to sell his arrows to buy herrings, or other meat for his table:
      "Our arms and ornaments of gold
      To buy us food we gladly sold:
      The arrows of the bow gave we
      For the bright arrows of the sea." (1)
 (1)  Herrings, from their swift darting along, are called the
      arrows of the sea.