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Medieval and Classical Library


Of The Egging-On of Thurid.

Online Medieval and Classical Library Release #34

Now fares Bardi home with his fellowship, and abides at home that night. On the morrow Kollgris arrays them breakfast; but the custom it was that the meat was laid on the board before men, and no dishes there were in those days. Then befell this unlooked- for thing, that three portions were gone from three men. Kollgris went and told Bardi thereof.

"Go on dighting the board," said he, "and speak not thereof before other men."

But Thurid (1) said that to those sons of hers he should deal no portion of breakfast, but she would deal it.

Kollgris did even so, and set forth the board, a trencher for each man, and set meat thereon.

Then went in Thurid and laid a portion before each of those brethren, and there was now that ox-shoulder cut up in three.

Taketh up Steingrim the word and said: "Hugely is this carved, mother, nor hast thou been wont to give men meat in such measureless fashion. Unmeasured mood there is herein, and nigh witless of wits art thou become." (2)

She answereth: "No marvel is this, and nought hast thou to wonder thereat; for bigger was Hall thy brother caryen, and I heard ye tell nought thereof that any wonder was that."

She let a stone go with the flesh-meat for each one of them; and they asked what that might betoken. She answereth: "Of that ye brethren have most which is no more likely for avail than are these stones (for food), insomuch as ye have not dared to avenge Hall your brother, such a man as he was; and far off have ye fallen away from your kinsmen, the men of great worth, who would not have sat down under such shame and disgrace as yea long while have done, and gotten the blame of many therefor."

Then she walked up along the floor shrieking, and sang a stave:

     "I say that the cravers of songs of the battle
     Now soon shall be casting their shame-word on Bardi.
     The tale shall be told of thee, God of the wound-worm,
     That thy yore-agone kindred with shame thou undoest;
     Unless thou, the ruler of light once a-lying
     All under the fish-road shall let it be done,
     That the lathe-fire's bidders at last be red-hooded.
     Let all folk be hearkening this song of my singing."