"Where battle-storm was ringing, Where arrow-cloud was singing, Harald stood there, Of armour bare, His deadly sword still swinging. The foeman feel its bite; His Norsemen rush to fight, Danger to share, With Harald there, Where steel on steel was ringing."
King Harald Sigurdson was hit by an arrow in the windpipe, and that was his death-wound. He fell, and all who had advanced with him, except those who retired with the banner. There was afterwards the warmest conflict, and Earl Toste had taken charge of the king's banner. They began on both sides to form their array again, and for a long time there was a pause in fighting. Then Thiodolf sang these verses: --
"The army stands in hushed dismay; Stilled is the clamour of the fray. Harald is dead, and with him goes The spirit to withstand our foes. A bloody scat the folk must pay For their king's folly on this day. He fell; and now, without disguise, We say this business was not wise."
But before the battle began again Harald Godwinson offered his brother, Earl Toste, peace, and also quarter to the Northmen who were still alive; but the Northmen called out, all of them together, that they would rather fall, one across the other, than accept of quarter from the Englishmen. Then each side set up a war-shout, and the battle began again. So says Arnor, the earls' skald: --
"The king, whose name would ill-doers scare, The gold-tipped arrow would not spare. Unhelmed, unpanzered, without shield, He fell among us in the field. The gallant men who saw him fall Would take no quarter; one and all Resolved to die with their loved king, Around his corpse in a corpse-ring."
Eystein Orre came up at this moment from the ships with the men who followed him, and all were clad in armour. Then Eystein got King Harald's banner Land-ravager; and now was, for the third time, one of the sharpest of conflicts, in which many Englishmen fell, and they were near to taking flight. This conflict is called Orre's storm. Eystein and his men had hastened so fast from the ships that they were quite exhausted, and scarcely fit to fight before they came into the battle; but afterwards they became so furious, that they did not guard themselves with their shields as long as they could stand upright. At last they threw off their coats of ringmail, and then the Englishmen could easily lay their blows at them; and many fell from weariness, and died without a wound. Thus almost all the chief men fell among the Norway people. This happened towards evening; and then it went, as one might expect, that all had not the same fate, for many fled, and were lucky enough to escape in various ways; and darkness fell before the slaughter was altogether ended.
Styrkar, King Harald Sigurdson's marshal, a gallant man, escaped upon a horse, on which he rode away in the evening. It was blowing a cold wind, and Styrkar had not much other clothing upon him but his shirt, and had a helmet on his head, and a drawn sword in his hand. As soon as his weariness was over, he began to feel cold. A waggoner met him in a lined skin-coat. Styrkar asks him, "Wilt thou sell thy coat, friend?"
"Not to thee," says the peasant: "thou art a Northman; that I can hear by thy tongue."