Stanza 24

Of Yngve & Alf

Alric's sons, Yngve and Ali, then succeeded to the kingly power in Sweden. Yngve was a great warrior, always victorious; handsome, expert in all exercises, strong and very sharp in battle, generous and full of mirth; so that he was both renowned and beloved. Alf was a silent, harsh, unfriendly man, and sat at home in the land, and never went out on war expeditions. His mother was called Dageid, a daughter of King Dag the Great, from whom the Dagling family is descended. King Alf had a wife named Bera, who was the most agreeable of women, very brisk and gay. One autumn Yngve, Alric's son, had arrived at Upsal from a viking cruise by which he was become very celebrated. He often sat long in the evening at the drinking-table; but Alf went willingly to bed very early. Queen Bera sat often till late in the evening, and she and Yngve conversed together for their amusement; but Alf soon told her that she should not sit up so late in the evening, but should go first to bed, so as not to waken him. She replied, that happy would be the woman who had Yngve instead of Alf for her husband; and as she often repeated the same, he became very angry. One evening Alf went into the hall, where Yngve and Bera sat on the high seat speaking to each other. Yngve had a short sword upon his knees, and the guests were so drunk that they did not observe the king coming in. King Alf went straight to the high seat, drew a sword from under his cloak, and pierced his brother Yngve through and through. Yngve leaped up, drew his short sword, and gave Alf his death-wound; so that both fell dead on the floor. Alf and Yngve were buried under mounds in Fyrisvold. Thus tells Thjodolf of it: --

I tell you of a horrid thing,
A deed of dreadful note I sing --
How by false Bera, wicked queen,
The murderous brother-hands were seen
Each raised against a brother's life;
How wretched Alf with bloody knife
Gored Yngve's heart, and Yngve's blade
Alf on the bloody threshold laid.
Can men resist Fate's iron laws?
They slew each other without cause.