The third time the crow came flying screeching at its very worst, and almost settling on the ship. Now the bonde threw down his oars, regarded them no more, and stood up before the king.
Then the king said, "Thou art taking this much to heart, bonde; what is it they say?"
The peasant -- "It is likely that either they or I have misunderstood -- "
The bonde replied in a song: --
"The `one-year old' Mere nonsense told; The `two-years' chatter Seemed senseless matter; The three-years' croak Of wonders spoke. The foul bird said My old mare's head I row along; And, in her song, She said the thief Was the land's chief."
The king said, "What is this, bonde! Wilt thou call me a thief?"
Then the king gave him good presents, and remitted all the land- rent of the place he lived on. So says Stein: --
"The pillar of our royal race Stands forth adorned with every grace. What king before e'er took such pride To scatter bounty far and wide? Hung round with shields that gleam afar; The merchant ship on one bestows, With painted streaks in glowing rows.