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viking family


Thorstein, my son, grew up to be a most handsome man. He had very blond hair and always a smile on his face. Tall he was and strong; yet not as strong as me. Thorstein was wise, gentle, quiet of temper, calm above other men. However, he and I could never seem to get along; but my wife Asgerd and my son Thorstein loved each other dearly.

I was getting old and did not have a lot of patience for nonsense.

One summer Thorstein rode to the Allthing, but I stayed at home. Before Thorstein left home he and Asgerd managed to take from one of my chests, without my knowledge, the silken robe given me by Arinbjorn.

Thorstein took it to the Allthing to show off. But it trailed behind him, and became soiled at the hem.

When he came home, Asgerd put the robe in the chest where it was before. Long after, when I opened his chest, I found that the robe was filthy. I questioned Asgerd how that had come about. She told me the truth. I then made a verse.

‘Him who from me inherits
I hold no worthy heir.
A son deceives me living,
Deceit I call his deed.
Well might he, wave-horse-rider,
Wait but awhile, till me
Sea-skimming shipmen cover
With shroud of piled stones.’

Thorstein married Jofridr, daughter of Gunnar son of Hlif: her mother was Helga daughter of Olaf Feilan, sister of Thord Gellir. Jofridr had before been wife of Thorod the son of Tongue-Odd.

Soon after this Asgerd died.

After her death I gave up housekeeping to Thorstein, and went south to Moss-fell to Grim, my son-in-law. I loved Thordis his step-daughter.

One summer a ship came out and put into Loam Bay. Thormod was aboard. He was a Norwegian, a house-man of Thorstein, Thora’s son. He brought with him a shield, which Thorstein had sent to me. It was a valuable treasure.

The following winter I composed a poem and wrote it on the shield.

‘List to the stream of lay
From long-haired Odin flowing,
Thane of a king, and bid
Thy folk due silence keep.
For thee, sea-raven’s ruler,
Rained from the eagle’s beak
Full oft shall shower of song
In Horda’s shore be heard.’

Thorstein, my son, dwelt at Borg. He had two illegitimate sons, Hrifla and Hrafn. But after his marriage he and Jofridr had ten children. Helga the fair was their daughter. Grim was their eldest son, the second Skuli, the third Thorgeir, the fourth Kollsvein, the fifth Hjorleif, the sixth Hall, the seventh Egil, the eighth Thord. The other daughter was Thora, who was married to Thormod Kleppjarn’s son. From Thorstein’s children sprang a large progeny, and many great men. They are called Myra-men, all those that sprang from Skallagrim, my father.

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