OLAF OF NORWAY: THE BOY VIKING
(Afterward King Olaf II, of Norway—"St. Olaf.")
 OLD RANE the helmsman, whose fierce mustaches and shaggy shoulder-mantle made him look like some grim old northern
wolf, held high in air the great bison-horn filled with foaming mead.
"Skoal to the Viking! Hael; was-hael!"
rose his exultant shout. From a hundred sturdy throats the cry re-echoed till the vaulted hall of the
Swedemen's conquered castle rang again.
"Skoal to the Viking! Hael; was-hael!" and in the centre of that throng of mail-clad men and tossing spears,
standing firm and fearless upon the interlocked and uplifted shields of three stalwart fighting-men, a
stout-limbed lad of scarce thirteen, with flowing light-brown hair and flushed and eager face, brandished his
sword vigorously in acknowledgment of the jubilant shout that rang once again through the dark and
smoke-stained hall, "Was-hael to the sea-wolf's son! Skoal to Olaf the King!"
 Then above of the din and clash of shouting and of steel rose the voice of Sigvat the saga-man, or song-man of
the young viking, singing loud and sturdily:
"Olaf the King is on his cruise,
His blue steel staining,
Rich booty gaining,
And all men trembling at the news.
Up, war-wolf's brood! our young fir's name
O'ertops the forest trees in fame ,
Our stout young Olaf knows no fear.
Though fell the fray,
He 's blithe and gay,
And warriors fall beneath his spear.
Who can't defend the wealth they have
Must die or share with the rover brave!"
A fierce and warlike song, boys and girl, to raise in honor of so young a lad. But those were fierce and
war-like days when men were stirred by the recital of bold and daring deeds—those old, old days, eight
hundred years ago, when Olaf, the boy viking, the pirate chief of a hundred mail-clad men, stood upon the
uplifted shields of his exultant fighting-men in the grim and smoke-stained hall of the gray castle of
captured Sigtun, oldest of Swedish cities.
"SKOAL TO THE VIKING! HAEL; WAS-HAEL!"
Take your atlas, and, turning to the map of Sweden, place your finger on the city of Stockholm. Do you notice
that it lies at the easterly end of a large lake? That is the Maelar, beautiful with winding channels,
pine-covered islands, and rocky shores. It is peaceful and quiet now, and palace and villa and quaint northern
farm-house stand unmolested on its picturesque borders. But
 channels, and islands, and rocky shores have echoed and re-echoed with the war-shouts of many a fierce
sea-rover since those far-off days when Olaf, the boy viking, and his Norwegian ships of war plowed through
the narrow sea-strait, and ravaged the fair shores of the Maelar with fire and sword.
Stockholm, the "Venice of the North," as it is called, was not then in existence; and little now remains of
old Sigtun save ruined walls. But travellers may still see the three tall towers of the ancient town, and the
great stone. heap, alongside which young Olaf drew his ships of war, and over which his pirate crew swarmed
into Sigtun town, and planted the victorious banner of the golden serpent upon the conquered walls.
For this fair young Olaf came of hardy Norse stock. His father, Harald Graenske, or "Greymantle," one of the
tributary kings of Norway, had fallen a victim to the tortures of the haughty Swedish queen; and now his son,
a boy of scarce thirteen, but a warrior already by training and from desire, came to avenge his father's
death. His mother, the Queen Aasta, equipped a large dragon-ship or war-vessel for her adventurous son, and
with the lad, as helmsman and guardian, was sent old Rane, whom men called "the far-travelled," because he had
sailed westward as far as England and southward to Norvasund (by which name men then knew the Straits of
Gibraltar). Boys toughened quickly in those stirring days, and this lad, who, because he was commander of a
 called Olaf the King—though he had no land to rule,—was of viking blood, and quickly learned the
trade of war. Already, among the rocks and sands of Sodermann, upon the Swedish coast, he had won his first
battle over a superior force of Danish war-vessels.
Other ships of war joined him; the name of Olaf the Brave was given him by right of daring deeds, and "Skoal
to the Viking!" rang from the sturdy throats of his followers as the little sea-king of thirteen was lifted in
triumph upon the battle-dented shields.
But a swift runner bursts into the gray hall of Sigtun. "To your ships, O King; to your ships!" he cries.
"Olaf, the Swedish king, men say, is planting a forest of spears along the sea-strait, and, except ye push out
now, ye may not get out at all!"
The nimble young chief sprang from the upraised shields.
"To your ships, vikings, all!" he shouted. "Show your teeth, war-wolves! Up with the serpent banner, and death
to Olaf the Swede!
Straight across the lake to the sea-strait, near where Stockholm now stands, the vikings sailed, young Olaf's
dragon-ship taking the lead. But all too late; for, across the narrow strait, the Swedish king had stretched
great chains, and had filled up the channel with stocks and stones. Olaf and his Norsemen were fairly trapped;
the Swedish spears waved in wild and joyful triumph, and King Olaf, the Swede, said with grim satisfaction to
his lords: "See, jarls and lendermen, the Fat Boy is caged at
 last!" For he never spoke of his stout young Norwegian namesake and rival save as "Olaf Tjocke,"—Olaf
the Thick, or Fat.
The boy viking stood by his dragon-headed prow, and shook his clenched fist at the obstructed sea-strait and
the Swedish spears.
"Shall we, then, land, Rane, and fight our way through?" he asked.
"Fight our way through?" said old Rane, who had been in many another tight place in his years of sea-roving,
but none so close as this. "Why, King, they be a hundred to one!"
"And if they be, what then?" said impetuous Olaf. "Better fall as a viking breaking Swedish spears, than die a
as Olaf of Sweden's bonder-man. May we not cut through these chains?"
"As soon think of cutting the solid earth, King," said the helmsman.
"So; and why not, then?" young Olaf exclaimed, struck with a brilliant idea. "Ho, Sigvat," he said, turning to
his saga-man, "what was that lowland under the cliff where thou didst say the pagan Upsal king was hanged in
his own golden chains by his Finnish queen?"
"'T is called the fen of Agnefit, O King," replied the saga-man, pointing toward where it lay.
"Why, then, my Rane," asked the boy, "may we not
 cut our way out through that lowland fen to the open sea and liberty?
"'T is Odin's own device," cried the delighted helmsman, catching at his young chief's great plan. "Ho,
war-wolves all, bite ye your way through the Swedish fens! Up with the serpent banner, and farewell to Olaf
It seemed a narrow chance, but it was the only one. Fortune favored the boy viking. Heavy rains had flooded
the lands that slope down to the Maelar Lake; in the dead of night the Swedish captives and stout Norse
oarsmen were set to work, and before daybreak an open cut had been made in the lowlands beneath Agnefit, or
the "Rock of King Agne," where, by the town of Sodertelje, the vikings' canal is still shown to travellers;
the waters of the lake came rushing through the cut, and an open sea-strait waited young Olaf's fleet.
"Unship the rudder; hoist the sail aloft!" commanded Rane the helmsman "Sound war-horns all! Skoal to the
Viking; skoal to the wise young Olaf!"
A strong breeze blew astern; the Norse rowers steered the rudderless ships with their long oars, and with a
mighty rush, through the new canal and over all the shallows, out into the great Norrstrom, or North Stream,
as the Baltic Sea was called, the fleet passed in safety while the loud war-horns blew the notes of triumph.
So the boy viking escaped from the trap of his Swedish foes, and, standing by the "grim gaping dragon's head "
 that crested the prow of his war-ship, he bade the helmsman steer for Gotland Isle, while Sigvat the saga-man
sang with the ring of triumph:
"Down the fiord sweep wind and rain;
Our sails and tackle sway and strain;
Wet to the skin
We 're sound within.
Our sea-steed through the foam goes prancing,
While shields and spears and helms are glancing.
From fiord to sea,
Our ships ride free,
And down the wind with swelling sail
We scud before the gathering gale."
What a breezy, rollicking old saga it is. Can't you almost catch the spray and sea-swell in its dashing
Now, turn to your atlases again and look for the large island of Gotland off the southeastern coast of Sweden,
in the midst of the Baltic Sea. In the time of Olaf it was a thickly peopled and wealthy district, and the
principal town, Wisby, at the northern end, was one of the busiest places in all Europe. To this attractive
island the boy viking sailed with all his ships, looking for rich booty, but the Gotlanders met him with fair
words and offered him so great a "scatt," or tribute, that he agreed not to molest them, and rested at the
island, an unwelcome guest, through all the long winter. Early in the spring he sailed eastward to the Gulf of
Riga and spread fear and terror along the coast of Finland. And the old saga tells how the Finlanders
"conjured up in the night, by their witch-craft, a dreadful storm and bad weather; but the king
 ordered all the anchors to be weighed and sail hoisted, and beat off all night to the outside of the land. So
the king's luck prevailed more than the Finlander's witchcraft."
Then away "through the wild sea" to Denmark sailed the young pirate king, and here he met a brother viking,
one Thorkell the Tall. The two chiefs struck up a sort of partnership; and coasting southward along the
western shores of Denmark, they won a sea-fight in the Ringkiobing Fiord, among the "sand hills of Jutland."
And so business continued brisk with this curiously matched pirate firm—a giant and a boy—until,
under the cliffs of Kinlimma, in Friesland, hasty word came to the boy viking that the English king, Ethelred
"The Unready," was calling for the help of all sturdy fighters to win back his heritage and crown from young
King Cnut, or Canute the Dane, whose father had seized the throne of England. Quick to respond to an appeal
that promised plenty of hard knocks, and the possibility of unlimited booty, Olaf, the ever ready; hoisted his
blue and crimson sails and steered his war-ships over sea to help King Ethelred, the never ready. Up the
Thames and straight for London town he rowed.
"Hail to the serpent banner! Hail to Olaf the Brave!" said King Ethelred, as the war-horns sounded a welcome;
and on the low shores of the Isle of Dogs, just below the old city, the keels of the Norse war-ships grounded
swiftly, and the boy viking and his followers leaped
 ashore. "Thou dost come in right good time with thy trusty dragon-ships, young King," said King Ethelred; "for
the Danish robbers arc full well entrenched in London town and in my father Edgar's castle."
And then he told Olaf how, "in the great trading place which is called Southwark," the Danes had raised "a
great work and dug large ditches, and within had builded a bulwark of stone, timber and turf, where they had
stationed a large army."
"And we would fain have taken this bulwark," added the King, "and did in sooth bear down upon it with a great
assault; but indeed we could make naught of it."
"And why so?" asked the young viking.
"Because," said King Ethelred, "upon the bridge betwixt the castle and Southwark have the ravaging Danes
raised towers and parapets, breast high, and thence they did cast down stones and weapons upon us so that we
could not prevail. And now, Sea-King, what dost thou counsel? How may we avenge ourselves of our enemies and
win the town?"
Impetuous as ever, and impatient of obstacles, the young viking said: "How? why, pull thou down this bridge,
King, and then may ye have free river-way to thy castle."
"Break down great London Bridge, young hero?" cried the amazed king. "How may that be? Have we a Duke Samson
among us to do so great a feat?"
"Lay me thy ships alongside mine, King, close to this
 barricaded bridge," said the valorous boy, "and I will vow to break it down, or ye may call me caitiff and
"Be it so," said Ethelred, the English king; and all the war-chiefs echoed: "Be it so!" So Olaf and his trusty
Rane made ready the war-forces for the destruction of the bridge.
Old London Bridge was not what we should now call an imposing structure, but our ancestors of nine centuries
back esteemed it quite a bridge. The chronicler says that it was "so broad that two wagons could pass each
other upon it," and "under the bridge were piles driven into the bottom of the river."
So young Olaf and old Rane put their heads together, and decided to wreck the bridge by a bold viking stroke.
And this is how it is told in the "Heimskringla," or Saga of King Olaf the Saint:
"King Olaf ordered great platforms of floating wood to be tied together with hazal bands, and for this he took
down old houses; and with these, as a roof, he covered over his ships so widely that it reached over the
ships' sides. Under this screen he set pillars, so high and stout that there both was room for swinging their
swords, and the roofs were strong enough to withstand the stones cast down upon them."
"Now, out oars and pull for the bridge," young Olaf commanded; and the roofed-over war-ships were rowed close
up to London Bridge.
And as they came near the bridge, the chronicle says:
 "There were cast upon them, by the Danes upon the bridge, so many stones and missile weapons, such as arrows
and spears, that neither helmet nor shield could hold out against it; and the ships themselves were so greatly
damaged that many retreated out of it."
But the boy viking and his Norsemen were there for a purpose, and were not to be driven back by stones or
spears or arrows. Straight ahead they rowed, "quite up under the bridge."
"Out cables, all, and lay them around the piles," the young sea-king shouted; and the half-naked rowers,
unshipping their oars, reached out under the roofs and passed the stout cables twice around the wooden
supports of the bridge. The loose end was made fast at the stern of each vessel, and then, turning and heading
down stream, King Olaf's twenty stout war-ships waited his word:
"Out oars!" he cried; "pull, war-birds! Pull all, as if ye were for Norway!"
THE ARMED TROOPS STOOD THICK UPON THE BRIDGE.
Forward and backward swayed the stout Norse rowers; tighter and tighter pulled the cables; fast down upon the
straining war-ships rained the Danish spears and stones; but the wooden piles under the great bridge were
loosened by the steady tug of the cables, and soon with a sudden spurt the Norse war-ships darted down the
river, while the slackened cables towed astern the captured piles of London Bridge. A great shout went up from
the besiegers, and "now," says the chronicle, "as the armed troops stood thick upon the bridge, and there were
like-  wise many heaps of stones and other weapons upon it, the bridge gave way; and a great part of the men upon it
fell into the river, and all the others fled—some into the castle, some into Southwark." And before King
Ethelred, "The Unready," could pull his ships to the attack, young Olaf's fighting men had sprung ashore, and,
storming the Southwark earthworks, carried all before them, and the battle of London Bridge was won.
And the young Olaf's saga-man sang triumphantly:
"London Bridge is broken down—
Gold is won and bright renown
Hildar shouting in the din!
Odin makes our Olaf win!"
And perhaps, who knows, this wrecking of London Bridge so many hundred years ago by Olaf, the boy viking of
fifteen, may have been the origin of the old song-game dear to so many generations of children:
"London Bridge is fallen down, fallen down, fallen down.
London Bridge is fallen down, my fair lady!"
So King Ethelred won back his kingdom, and the boy viking was honored above all others. To him was given the
chief command in perilous expeditions against the Danes, and the whole defence of all the coast of England.
North and south along the coast he sailed with all his war-ships, and the Danes and Englishmen long remembered
 the dashing but dubious ways of this young sea-rover, who swept the English coast and claimed his dues from
friend and foe alike. For those were days of insecurity for merchant and trader and farmer, and no man's
wealth or life was safe except as he paid ready tribute to the fierce Norse allies of King Ethelred. But soon
after this, King Ethelred died, and young Olaf, thirsting for new adventures, sailed away to the south and
fought his way all along the French coast as far as the mouth of the river Garronne. Many castles he captured;
many rival vikings subdued; much spoil he gathered; until at last his dragon-ships lay moored under the walls
of old Bordeaux, waiting for fair winds to take him around to the Straits of Gibraltar, and so on "to the land
One day, in the booty-filled "forehold" of his dragon-ship, the young sea-king lay asleep; and suddenly, says
the old record, "he dreamt a wondrous dream."
"Olaf, great stem of kings, attend!" he heard a deep voice call; and, looking up, the dreamer seemed to see
before him "a great and important man, but of a terrible appearance withal."
"If that thou art Olaf the Brave, as men do call thee," said the vision, "turn thyself to nobler deeds than
vikings' ravaging and this wandering cruise. Turn back, turn back from thy purposeless journey to the land of
Jerusalem, where neither honor nor fame awaits thee. Son of King Harald, return thee to thy heritage; for thou
shalt be King over all Norway."
 Then the vision vanished and the young rover awoke to find himself alone, save for the sleeping foot-boy
across the cabin doorway. So he quickly summoned old Rane, the helmsman, and told his dream.
"'Twas for thy awakening, King," said his stout old follower. "'Twas the great Olaf, thine uncle, Olaf
Tryggvesson the King, that didst call thee. Win Norway, King, for the portent is that thou and thine shall
rule thy fatherland."
And the war-ships' prows were all turned northward again, as the boy viking, following the promise of his
dream, steered homeward for Norway and a throne.
Now in Norway Earl Eric was dead. For thirteen years he had usurped the throne that should have been filled by
one of the great King Olaf's line; and, at his death, his handsome young son, Earl Hakon the Fair, ruled in
his father's stead. And when young King Olaf heard this news, he shouted for joy and cried to Rane:
"Now, home in haste, for Norway shall be either Hakon's heritage or mine!"
"'T is a fair match of youth 'gainst youth," said the trusty helmsman; "and if but fair luck go with thee,
Nor. way shall be thine!"
So, from "a place called Furovald," somewhere between the mouths of Humber and of Tees, on the English coast,
King Olaf, with but two stout war-ships and two hundred and twenty "well-armed and chosen persons," shook out
his purple sails to the North Sea blasts, and steered straight for Norway.
 As if in league against this bold young viking the storm winds came rushing down from the mountains of Norway
and the cold belt of the Arctic Circle and caught the two war-ships tossing in a raging sea. The storm burst
upon them with terrific force, and the danger of shipwreck was great. "But," says the old record, "as they had
a chosen company and the king's luck with them all went on well. So sings the faithful saga-man—
"Thou able chief! With thy fearless crew
Thou meetest with skill and courage true
The wild sea's wrath
On thy ocean path.
Though waves mast-high were breaking round,
Thou findest the middle of Norway's ground,
With helm in hand
On Saelo's strand."
Now Sael was Norse for "lucky" and Saelo's Island means the lucky island.
"I'll be a lucky king for landing thus upon the Lucky Isle," said rash young Olaf, with the only attempt at a
joke we find recorded of him, as, with a mighty leap, he sprang ashore where the sliding keel of his war-ship
ploughed the shore of Saelo's Isle.
"True, 'tis a good omen, King," said old Rane the helmsman, following close behind.
But the soil of the "lucky isle" was largely clay, moist
 and slippery, and as the eager young viking climbed the bank his right foot slipped, and he would have fallen
had not he struck his left foot firmly in the clay and thus saved himself. But to slip at all was a bad sign
in those old, half-pagan, and superstitious times, and he said, ruefully: "An omen; an omen, Rane! The king
"Nay, 'tis the king's luck," says ready and wise old Kane. "Thou didst not fall, King. See; thou didst but set
fast foot in this thy native soil of Norway."
"Thou art a rare diviner, Rane," laughed the young king much relieved, and then he added solemnly: "It may be
so if God doth will it so."
And now news comes that Earl Hakon, with a single war-ship, is steering north from Sogne Fiord; and Olaf,
pressing on, lays his two ships on either side of a narrow strait, or channel, in Sandunga Sound. Here he
stripped his ships of all their war-gear, and stretched a great cable deep in the water, across the narrow
strait. Then he wound the cable-ends around the capstans, ordered all his fighting-men entered of sight, and
waited for his rival. Soon Earl Hakon's war-ship, crowded with rowers and fighting-men, entered the strait.
Seeing, as he supposed, but two harmless merchant-vessels lying on either side of the channel, the young earl
bade his rowers pull between the two. Suddenly there is a stir on the quiet merchant-vessels. The capstan bars
are manned; the sunken cable is drawn taut. Up goes the stern of Earl Hakon's entrapped war-ship; down plunges
 prow into the waves, and the water pours into the doomed boat. A loud shout is heard; the quiet
merchant-vessels swarm with mail-clad men, and the air is filled with a shower of stones, and spears, and
arrows. The surprise is complete. Tighter draws the cable; over topples Earl Hakon's vessel, and he and all
his men are among the billows struggling for life. "So," says the record, "King Olaf took Earl Hakon and all
his men whom they could get hold of out of the water and made them prisoners; but some were killed and some
Into the "fore-hold "of the king's ship the captive earl was led a prisoner, and there the young rivals for
Norway's crown faced each other. The two lads were of nearly the same age—between sixteen and
seventeen,—and young Earl Hakon was considered the handsomest youth in all Norway. His helmet was gone,
his sword was lost, his ring-steel suit was sadly disarranged, and his long hair, "fine as silk," was "bound
about his head with a gold ornament." Fully expecting the fate of all captives in those cruel
days—instant death,—the young earl nevertheless faced his boy conqueror proudly, resolved to meet
his fate like a man.
"They speak truth who say of the house of Eric that ye be handsome men," said the King, studying his
prisoner's face. "But now, Earl, even though thou be fair to look upon, thy luck hath failed thee at last."
"Fortune changes," said the young earl. "We both be boys; and thou, king, art perchance the shrewder
 youth. Yet, had we looked for such a trick as thou hast played upon us, we had not thus been tripped upon thy
sunken cables. Better luck next time."
"Next time!" echoed the king; "dost thou not know, Earl, that as thou standest there, a prisoner, there may be
no 'next time' for thee?"
The young captive understood full well the meaning of the words. "Yes, King," he said; "it must be only as
thou mayst determine. Man can die but once. Speak on; I am ready!" But Olaf said: "What wilt thou give me,
Earl, if at this time I do let thee go, whole and unhurt?"
"'T is not what I may give, but what thou mayst take, King," the earl made answer. "I am thy prisoner; what
wilt thou take to free me?"
"Nothing," said the generous young viking, advancing nearer to his handsome rival. "As thou didst say, we both
be boys, and life is all before us. Earl, I give thee thy life, do thou but take oath before me to leave this
my realm of Norway, to give up thy kingdom, and never to do battle against me hereafter."
The conquered earl bent his fair young head.
"Thou art a generous chief, King Olaf," he said. "I take my life as thou dost give it, and all shall be as
So Earl Hakon took the oath, and King Olaf righted his rival's capsized war-ship, refitted it from his own
stores of booty, and thus the two lads parted; the young earl sailing off to his uncle, King Canute, in
England, and the
 boy viking hastening eastward to Vigen, where lived his mother, the Queen Aasta, whom he had not seen for full
It is harvest-time in the year 1014. Without and within the long, low house of Sigurd Syr, at Vigen, all is
excitement; for word has come that Olaf the sea-king has returned to his native land, and is even now on his
way to this, his mother's house. Gay stuffs decorate the dull walls of the great-room, clean straw covers the
earth-floor, and upon the long, four-cornered tables is spread a mighty feast of mead and ale and coarse but
hearty food, such as the old Norse heroes drew their strength and muscle from. At the doorway stands the Queen
Aasta with her maidens, while before the entrance, with thirty "well-clothed men," waits young Olaf's
stepfather, wise Sigurd Syr, gorgeous in a jewelled suit, a scarlet cloak, and a glittering golden helmet. The
watchers on the house-tops hear a distant shout, now another and nearer one, and soon, down the highway, they
catch the gleam of steel and the waving of many banners; and now they can distinguish the stalwart forms of
Olaf's chosen hundred men, their shining coats of ring-mail, their foreign helmets, and their crossleted
shields flashing in the sun. In the very front rides old Rane, the helmsman, bearing the great white banner
blazoned with the golden serpent, and, behind him, cased in golden armor, his long brown hair flowing over his
sturdy shoulders, rides the boy viking, Olaf of Norway.
 It was a brave home-coming; and as the stout young hero, leaping from his horse, knelt to receive his mother's
welcoming kiss, the people shouted for joy, the banners waved, the war-horns played their loudest; and thus,
after five years of wandering, the boy comes back in triumph to the home he left when but a wild and
adventurous little fellow of twelve.
The hero of nine great sea-fights, and of many smaller ones, before he was seventeen, young Olaf Haraldson was
a remarkable boy, even in the days when all boys aimed to be battle-tried heroes. Toughened in frame and fibre
by his five years of sea-roving, he had become strong and self-reliant, a man in action though but a boy in
"I am come," he said to his mother and his stepfather, "to take the heritage of my forefathers. But not from
Danish nor from Swedish kings will I supplicate that which is mine by right. I intend rather to seek my
patrimony with battle-ax and sword, and I will so lay hand to the work that one of two things shall happen:
Either I shall bring all this kingdom of Norway under my rule, or I shall fall here upon my inheritance in the
land of my fathers."
These were bold words for a boy of seventeen. But they were not idle boastings. Before a year had passed,
young Olaf's pluck and courage had won the day, and in harvest-time, in the year 1015, being then but little
more than eighteen years old, he was crowned King of Norway in the Drontheim, or "Throne-home," of Nidaros,
the royal city, now called on your atlas the city of
Dron-  theim. For fifteen years King Olaf the Second ruled his realm of Norway. The old record says that he was "a
good and very gentle man"; but history shows his goodness and gentleness to have been of a rough and savage
kind. The wild and stern experiences of his viking days lived again even in his attempts to reform and benefit
his land. When he who had himself been a pirate tried to put down piracy, and he who had been a wild young
robber sought to force all Norway to become Christian, he did these things in so fierce and cruel a way that
at last his subjects rebelled, and King Canute came over with a great army to wrest the throne from him. On
the bloody field of Stiklestad, July 29, 1030, the stern king fell, says Sigvat, his saga-man,
"beneath the blows
By his own thoughtless people given."
So King Canute conquered Norway; but after his death, Olaf's son, Magnus the Good, regained his father's
throne. The people, sorrowful at their rebellion against King Olaf, forgot his stern and cruel ways, and
magnified all his good deeds so mightily, that he was at last declared a saint, and the shrine of Saint Olaf
is still one of the glories of the old cathedral in Drontheim. And, after King Magnus died, his descendants
ruled in Norway for nearly four hundred years; and thus was brought to pass the promise of the dream that, in
the "fore-hold" of the great dragon-ship, under the walls of old Bordeaux, came so many years before to the
daring and sturdy young Olaf of Norway, the Boy Viking.
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