hen on, as bleak gales lashed dark prows,Our longships ploughed the Dnieper.Five hundred raven-feeders came,Our oarblades plunging deeperI went to make my fame.
mongst the copper, sun-lit domesOf the Greatest City, Miklagard,I fought for emperors in their wars,I seasoned, tempered and weathered hard.I fed the wolf and edged my claws.
or ten long years my sword drank deepOf Bulgar, knight and Saracen.My sea chest brimmed with corpse’s gold,I conquered lands and buried men, And wove a yarn for skalds.
nd yet my fame-thirst stood unslaked, And blood-feud marrowed every bone.I took my ship and shining hoard And aimed her prow at Norway’s throne.My dead brother’s whispers would not be ignored.
ing Magnus feared me and rightly so,His arse between two thrones, And gave me half of Norway For a chest of gold and gleaming stones.He had no heart for the fray.
hen soon enough a blue-skinned corpse,He lay beneath the sodden loam. What I had sown was mine to reap,I lay both arms upon the throne, Then rode my sea-steed south upon the darkling deep.
aken keels sliced the surging sea, The Danemen trembled in their halls. We rolled along that ragged coast like thunder,Our roller-horses gorged with thralls And chattel maidens worth their weight in plunder.