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Him to ensnare and bring
Unto the Danish king,
Who his dead corse would Aling

Forth to the raven !



On the gray sea-sands
King Olaf stands,
Northward and seaward
He points with his hands.

With eddy and whirl
The sea-tides curl,
Washing the sandals
Of Sigvald the Earl.

The mariners shout,
The ships swing about,
The yards are all hoisted,
The sails flutter out.

The war-horns are played,
The anchors are weighed,
Like moths in the distance
The sails fit and fade.

The sea is like lead,
The harbor lies dead,
As a corse on the sea-shore,
Whose spirit has fled !

On that fatal day,
The histories say,
Seventy vessels
Sailed out of the bay.

But soon scattered wide
O'er the billows they ride,
While Sigvald and Olaf
Sail side by side.

Cried the Earl: “Follow me!
I your pilot will be
For I know all the channels
Where flows the deep sea !”

So into the strait
Where his foes lie in wait,
Gallant King Olaf
Sails to his fate!

Then the sea-fog veils
The ships and their sails;
Queen Sigrid the Haughty,
Thy vengeance prevails !



6 Strike the sails !” King Olaf said ;
“ Never shall men of mine take flight;

Never away from battle I fled,
Never away from my foes !

Let God dispose
Of my life in the fight ! ”

“Sound the horns ! ” said Olaf the King ;

And suddenly through the drifting brume
The blare of the horns began to ring,
Like the terrible trumpet shock

Of Regnarock,
On the Day of Doom!

Louder and louder the war-horns sang
Over the level floor of the flood;
All the sails came down with a clang,
And there in the midst overhead

The sun hung red
As a drop of blood.


Drifting down on the Danish fleet
Three together the ships were lashed,
So that neither should turn and retreat ;
In the midst, but in front of the rest,

The burnished crest
Of the Serpent flashed.

King Olaf stood on the quarter-deck,
With bow of ash and arrows of oak,
His gilded shield was without a fleck,
His helmet inlaid with gold,

And in many a fold
Hung his crimson cloak.

On the forecastle Ulf the Red
Watched the lashing of the ships ;

* If the Serpent lie so far ahead,
We shall have hard work of it here,”

Said he with a sneer
On his bearded lips.


King Olaf laid an arrow on string, “ Have I a coward on board ? ” said he. “Shoot it another way, 0 King ! ”

O Sullenly answered Ulf,

The old sea-wolf ; “ You have need of me!”

In front came Svend, the King of the Danes,
Sweeping down with his fifty rowers ;
To the right, the Swedish king with his thanes;
And on board of the Iron Beard

Earl Eric steered
To the left with his oars.

“ These soft Danes and Swedes,” said the King, “ At home with their wives had better stay,

Than come within reach of my Serpent's sting: But where Eric the Norseman leads

Heroic deeds Will be done to-day !

Then as together the vessels crashed,
Eric severed the cables of hide,
With which King Olaf's ships were lashed,
And left them to drive and drift

With the currents swift
Of the outward tide

Louder the war-horns growl and snarl,
Sharper the dragons bite and sting!
Eric the son of Hakon Jarl
A death-drink salt as the sea

Pledges to thee,
Olaf the King!



It was Einar Tamberskelver

Stood beside the mast;
From his yew-bow, tipped with silver,

Flew the arrows fast;
Aimed at Eric unavailing,

As he sat concealed,
Half behind the quarter-railing,

Half behind his shield.

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First an arrow struck the tiller,

Just above his head;
Sing, O Eyvind Skaldaspiller,"

Then Earl Eric said.
“Sing the song of Hakon dying,

Sing his funeral wail !
And another arrow flying

Grazed his coat of mail.

Turning to a Lapland yeoman,

As the arrow passed,
Said Earl Eric, “ Shoot that bowman

Standing by the mast.”

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