"I hear, my girl, that Egil said, When to the gallows he was led, That the king's thralls far more than he Deserved to hang on gallows-tree. It might be so; but, death in view, A man should to himself be true, -- End a stout life by death as stout, Showing no fear; or care, or doubt."
King Magnus sat near while they were being hanged, and was in such a rage that none of his men was so bold as to ask mercy for them. The king said, when Egil was spinning at the gallows, "Thy great friends help thee but poorly in time of need." From this people supposed that the king only wanted to have been entreated to have spared Egil's life. Bjorn Krephende speaks of these things: --
"King Magnus in the robbers' gore Dyed red his sword; and round the shore The wolves howled out their wild delight, At corpses swinging in their sight. Have ye not heard how the king's sword Punished the traitors to their lord? How the king's thralls hung on the gallows Old Thorer and his traitor-fellows?"
7. OF THE PUNISHMENT OF THE THRONDHJEM PEOPLE.
After this King Magnus sailed south to Throndhjem, and brought up in the fjord, and punished severely all who had been guilty of treason towards him; killing some, and burning the houses of others. So says Bjorn Krephende: --
"He who despises fence of shields Drove terror through the Throndhjem fields, When all the land through which he came Was swimming in a flood of flame. The raven-feeder, will I know, Cut off two chieftans at a blow; The wolf could scarcely ravenous be, The ernes flew round the gallows-tree."
Svein Harald Fletter's son, fled out to sea first, and sailed then to Denmark, and remained there; and at last came into great favour with King Eystein, the son of King Magnus, who took so great a liking to Svein that he made him his dish-bearer, and held him in great respect. King Magnus had now alone the whole kingdom, and he kept good peace in the land, and rooted out all vikings and lawless men. He was a man quick, warlike, and able, and more like in all things to his grandfather, King Harald, in disposition and talents than to his father.
8. OF THE BONDE SVEINKE, AND SIGURD ULSTRENG.