THE SAGA OF GUNNLAUG THE WORM-TONGUE AND RAVEN THE SKALD – CHAPTER XV – How Gunnlaug and Raven agreed to go East to Norway, to try the matter again.

 

Now after these things were gone by men rode home from the Thing, and Gunnlaug dwelt at home at Gilsbank.

 

On a morning when he awoke all men had risen up, but he alone still lay abed; he lay in a shut-bed behind the seats. Now into the hall came twelve men, all full armed, and who should be there but Raven, Onund’s son; Gunnlaug sprang up forthwith, and got to his weapons.

 

But Raven spake, “Thou art in risk of no hurt this time,” quoth he, “but my errand hither is what thou shalt now hear: Thou didst call me to a holmgang last summer at the Althing, and thou didst not deem matters to be fairly tried therein; now I will offer thee this, that we both fare away from Iceland, and go abroad next summer, and go on holm in Norway, for there our kinsmen are not like to stand in our way.”

 

Gunnlaug answered, “Hail to thy words, stoutest of men! this thine offer I take gladly; and here, Raven, mayest thou have cheer as good as thou mayest desire.”

 

“It is well offered,” said Raven, “but this time we shall first have to ride away.” Thereon they parted.

 

Now the kinsmen of both sore misliked them of this, but could in no wise undo it, because of the wrath of Gunnlaug and Raven; and, after all, that must betide that drew towards.

 

Now it is to be said of Raven that he fitted out his ship in Leiruvag; two men are named that went with him, sisters’ sons of his father Onund, one hight Grim, the other Olaf, doughty men both. All the kinsmen of Raven thought it great scathe when he went away, but he said he had challenged Gunnlaug to the holmgang because he could have no joy soever of Helga; and he said, withal, that one must fall before the other.

 

So Raven put to sea, when he had wind at will, and brought his ship to Thrandheim, and was there that winter and heard nought of Gunnlaug that winter through; there lie abode him the summer following: and still another winter was he in Thrandheim, at a place called Lifangr.

 

Gunnlaug Worm-tongue took ship with Hallfred Troublous-Skald, in the north at The Plain; they were very late ready for sea.

 

They sailed into the main when they had a fair wind, and made Orkney a little before the winter. Earl Sigurd Lodverson was still lord over the isles, and Gunnlaug went to him and abode there that winter, and the earl held him of much account.

 

In the spring the earl would go on warfare, and Gunnlaug made ready to go with him; and that summer they harried wide about the South-isles and Scotland’s firths, and had many fights, and Gunnlaug always showed himself the bravest and doughtiest of fellows, and the hardiest of men wherever they came.

 

Earl Sigurd went back home early in the summer, but Gurmlaug took ship with chapmen, sailing for Norway, and he and Earl Sigurd parted in great friendship.

Gunnlaug fared north to Thrandheim, to Hladir, to see Earl Eric, and dwelt there through the early winter; the earl welcomed him gladly, and made offer to Gunnlaug to stay with him, and Gunnlaug agreed thereto.

 

The earl had heard already how all had befallen between Gunnlaug and Raven, and he told Gunnlaug that he laid ban on their fighting within his realm; Gunnlaug said the earl should be free to have his will herein.

 

So Gunnlaug abode there the winter through, ever heavy of mood.

 

———————-

From: THE STORY/SAGA OF GUNNLAUG THE WORM-TONGUE AND RAVEN THE SKALD

Translated From The Icelandic EIRIKR MAGNUSSON & WILLIAM MORRIS

 

Download this saga as a PDF ebook from: http://www.abelapublishing.com/gunnlaug.html

 

A percentage of the profits from the sale of this book will be donated to UNICEF.

 

The Saga of Gunnlaug the Worm-Tongue and Raven the Skald

 

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