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Heimskringla


Ynglinga Saga


Page 3

14. OF KING FJOLNE'S DEATH.

Fjolne, Yngve Frey's son, ruled thereafter over the Swedes and
the Upsal domains. He was powerful, and lucky in seasons and in
holding the peace. Fredfrode ruled then in Leidre, and between
them there was great friendship and visiting. Once when Fjolne
went to Frode in Sealand, a great feast was prepared for him, and
invitations to it were sent all over the country. Frode had a
large house, in which there was a great vessel many ells high,
and put together of great pieces of timber; and this vessel stood
in a lower room. Above it was a loft, in the floor of which was
an opening through which liquor was poured into this vessel. The
vessel was full of mead, which was excessively strong. In the
evening Fjolne, with his attendants, was taken into the adjoining
loft to sleep. In the night he went out to the gallery to seek a
certain place, and he was very sleepy and exceedingly drunk. As
he came back to his room he went along the gallery to the door of
another left, went into it, and his foot slipping, he fell into
the vessel of mead and was drowned. So says Thjodolf of Kvine:
--

"In Frode's hall the fearful word,
The death-foreboding sound was heard:
The cry of fey denouncing doom,
Was heard at night in Frode's home.
And when brave Frode came, he found
Swithiod's dark chief, Fjolne, drowned.
In Frode's mansion drowned was he,
Drowned in a waveless, windless sea."

15. OF SWEGDE.

Swegde took the kingdom after his father, and he made a solemn
vow to seek Godheim and Odin. He went with twelve men through
the world, and came to Turkland, and the Great Svithiod, where he
found many of his connections. He was five years on this
journey; and when he returned home to Sweden he remained there
for some time. He had got a wife in Vanheim, who was called
Vana, and their son was Vanlande. Swegde went out afterwards to
seek again for Godheim, and came to a mansion on the east side of
Swithiod called Stein, where there was a stone as big as a large
house. In the evening after sunset, as Swegde was going from the
drinking-table to his sleeping-room, he cast his eye upon the
stone, and saw that a dwarf was sitting under it. Swegde and his
man were very drunk, and they ran towards the stone. The dwarf
stood in the door, and called to Swegde, and told him to come in,
and he should see Odin. Swegde ran into the stone, which
instantly closed behind him, and Swegde never came back.
Thiodolf of Kvine tells of this: --

"By Diurnir's elfin race,
Who haunt the cliffs and shun day's face,
The valiant Swegde was deceived,
The elf's false words the king believed.
The dauntless hero rushing on,
Passed through the yawning mouth of stone:
It yawned -- it shut -- the hero fell,
In Saekmime's hall, where giants dwell."

16. OF VANLANDE, SWEGDE'S SON.

Vanlande, Swegde's son, succeeded his father, and ruled over the
Upsal domain. He was a great warrior, and went far around in
different lands. Once he took up his winter abode in Finland
with Snae the Old, and got his daughter Driva in marriage; but in
spring he set out leaving Driva behind, and although he had
promised to return within three years he did not come back for
ten. Then Driva sent a message to the witch Huld; and sent
Visbur, her son by Vanlande, to Sweden. Driva bribed the witch-
wife Huld, either that she should bewitch Vanlande to return to
Finland, or kill him. When this witch-work was going on Vanlande
was at Upsal, and a great desire came over him to go to Finland;
but his friends and counsellors advised him against it, and said
the witchcraft of the Finn people showed itself in this desire of
his to go there. He then became very drowsy, and laid himself
down to sleep; but when he had slept but a little while he cried
out, saying that the Mara was treading upon him. His men
hastened to him to help him; but when they took hold of his head
she trod on his legs, and when they laid hold of his legs she
pressed upon his head; and it was his death. The Swedes took his
body and burnt it at a river called Skytaa, where a standing
stone was raised over him. Thus says Thjodolf: --

"And Vanlande, in a fatal hour,
Was dragg'd by Grimhild's daughter's power,
The witch-wife's, to the dwelling-place
Where men meet Odin face to face.
Trampled to death, to Skytaa's shore
The corpse his faithful followers bore;
And there they burnt, with heavy hearts,
The good chief killed by witchcraft's arts.

17. OF VISBUR, VANLANDE'S SON.

Visbur succeeded his father Vanlande. He married the daughter of
Aude the Rich, and gave her as her bride-gift three large farms,
and a gold ornament. They had two sons, Gisle and Ond; but
Visbur left her and took another wife, whereupon she went home to
her father with her two sons. Visbur had a son who was called
Domald, and his stepmother used witchcraft to give him ill-luck.
Now, when Visbur's sons were the one twelve and the other
thirteen years of age, they went to their father's place, and
desired to have their mother's dower; but he would not deliver it
to them. Then they said that the gold ornament should be the
death of the best man in all his race, and they returned home.
Then they began again with enchantments and witchcraft, to try if
they could destroy their father. The sorceress Huld said that by
witchcraft she could bring it about by this means, that a
murderer of his own kin should never be wanting in the Yngling
race; and they agreed to have it so. Thereafter they collected
men, came unexpectedly in the night on Visbur, and burned him in
his house. So sings Thjodolf: --

"Have the fire-dogs' fierce tongues yelling
Lapt Visbur's blood on his own hearth?
Have the flames consumed the dwelling
Of the here's soul on earth?
Madly ye acted, who set free
The forest foe, red fire, night thief,
Fell brother of the raging sea,
Against your father and your chief."

18. OF DOMALD, VISBUR'S SON.

Domald took the heritage after his father Visbur, and ruled over
the land. As in his time there was great famine and distress,
the Swedes made great offerings of sacrifice at Upsal. The first
autumn they sacrificed oxen, but the succeeding season was not
improved thereby. The following autumn they sacrificed men, but
the succeeding year was rather worse. The third autumn, when the
offer of sacrifices should begin, a great multitude of Swedes
came to Upsal; and now the chiefs held consultations with each
other, and all agreed that the times of scarcity were on account
of their king Domald, and they resolved to offer him for good
seasons, and to assault and kill him, and sprinkle the stalle of
the gods with his blood. And they did so. Thjodolf tells of
this: --

"It has happened oft ere now,
That foeman's weapon has laid low
The crowned head, where battle plain,
Was miry red with the blood-rain.
But Domald dies by bloody arms,
Raised not by foes in war's alarms --
Raised by his Swedish liegemen's hand,
To bring good seasons to the land."




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