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Athelstan

When I finished reciting my poem the King stood up and said “Finely done Egil. Now that you have faced me with courage and honored me with my own poem, I will release you from this place. But remember, my sons and my men have not given you this compensation. Therefore I suggest that you stay out of their way. Now get out of here and out of my territory while you remain alive.”

I thanked the king with this verse.

 

Ugly as I, Egil, am

I’m not in the way

Of refusing from a ruler

My rock-helm of a head:

Was there ever an enemy

Won such an elegant

Gift from a great-hearted

Gallant like Eirik?

 

 

Arinbjorn thanked the king with all the words at his disposal.

We then gathered a hundred and twenty armed men and rode off to see King Æthelstan.

We arrived and received a great welcome from King Æthelstan . The king then asked how I had been getting along with King Eirik Blood-Axe. I made the following verse.

That juggler of justice,

That gift-lord of jackals,

Let the black-brow boast

Of his boon to Egil:

My wife’s kinsman’s courage

Came to my aid,

In spite of that sword-king

I keep my old skull.

 

When we left the king and were ready to depart I gave Arinbjorn a gift. It was the two large gold arm bracelets that King Æthelstan had given me when I won the battle of the Scots for him.

Arinbjorn gave me a sword called Dragvendil. It was given to him by my brother Thorolf.

Arinbjorn said “It originally belonged to Ketil Trout. It was only used in a single battle but kept a fine edge. Ketil gave it to his son Grim Hairy-Cheek. Grim Hairy-Cheek had given it to Kveld-ulf. Kveld-ulf gave it to his son Thorolf. And then it was given to me. Take care it.”

Arinbjorn then went home.

I told my men to keep or sell whatever they could salvage from the wrecked ship.

Later that year I saw my men again. They had travelled south from Orkney and met me in England.

Red Banner

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