Stanza 51

Of the Death of King Eystein

Eystein, Halfdan Hvitbein's son, became king after in Raumarike and Westfold. He was married to Hild, a daughter of Eric Agnarsson, who was king in Westfold. Agnar, Eric's father, was a son of Sigtryg, king in the Vend district. King Eric had no son and died while King Halfdan Hvitbein was still in life. The father and son, Halfdan and Eystein, then took possession of the whole of Westfold, which Eystein ruled over as long as he lived. At that time there lived at Varna a king called Skjold, who was a great warlock. King Eystein went with some ships of war to Varna, plundered there, and carried away all he could find of clothes or other valuables, and of peasants' stock, and killed cattle on the strand for provision, and then went off. King Skjold came to the strand with his army, just as Eystein was at such a distance over the fjord that King Skjold could only see his sails. Then he took his cloak, waved it, and blew into it. King Eystein was sitting at the helm as they sailed in past Jarls, and another ship was sailing at the side of his when there came a stroke of a wave, by which the boom of the other ship struck the king and threw him overboard, which proved his death. His men fished up his body, and it was carried into Borre, where a mound was thrown up over it, out towards the sea at Raden, near Vodle. So says Thjodolf: --

King Eystein sat upon the poop
Of his good ship: with sudden swoop
The swinging boom dashed him to hell,
And fathoms deep the hero fell
Beneath the brine. The fury whirl
Of Loke, Tempest's brother's girl,
Grim Hel, clutched his soul away;
And now where Vodle's ocean bay
Receives the ice-cold stream, the grave
Of Eystein stands -- the good, the brave!