KAPJn_F-vUiWi4kMGsTPhQ Hávarðar Saga Ísfirðings

Hávarðar Saga Ísfirðings

The Story of Howard the Halt an 1891 translation into English by William Morris and Eiríkr Magnússon

Section Reference 12


Of the Slaying of Liot Thiodrekson

So tells the tale that Howard went into the hall; light burned above, but below it was dim: so he went into the bedchamber: and as it happed the mistress was not yet gone to bed, but was yet in the women's bower, and women with her, and the bed-chamber was not locked. So Howard smote with the flat of his sword on the door, and Liot waked therewith, and asked who made that clatter, and so master Howard named himself.

"Why art thou there, carle Howard ? " said Liot, "we were told the day before yesterday that thou wert hard at death's door."

Howard answered: "Of another man's death mayest thou first hear : for hearken, I tell thee of the death of thy brethren, Thorbiorn and Sturla."

When he heard that, he sprang up in his bed, and caught down a sword that hung over him, and cried on the men in the hall to arise and take their weapons: but Howard leapt up into the bedchamber, and smote Liot on the left shoulder; but Liot turned sharply therewith, and the sword glanced from the shoulder, and tore down the arm, and took it off at the elbow joint: Liot leapt forth from the chamber with brandished sword, with the mind to hew down Howard; but then was Eyjulf come up, and he smote him on the right shoulder, and struck off his hand, and there they slew Liot.

Then arose great uproar in the hall, and Liot's house-carles would stand up and take to their weapons; but now were Thorbrand's sons come in, and here and there men got a scratch or a knock. Then spake Howard : "Let all be as quiet as may be, and do ye no manner of mischief, or else will we slay every man's son of you, one on the heels of the other."

So they deemed it better to be all quiet; nor had they much sorrow of Liot's death, though they were of his house.

So those fellows turned away, nor would Howard do more therein. Torfi and Hallgrim came to meet them, for they were about going in; and they asked what had been done; so Howard sang a stave:


Wrought good work Geirdi's offspring
>On grove of water's sunshine,
Beheld I Knott there brandish
The b!ood-ice sharp and bitter;
Eyjolf was fain of edge-play
With eager kin of warriors;
The wary one, the well-known
Would deal out flame of war-sheen.


Then they went down to the cutter, and Thor-hall greeted them well there.

Torfi Valbrandson asked what to do now. Said Howard: "Now shall we seek after some safeguard; for though the revenge be not as great as would, yet shall we not be able to keep ourselves after this work; for there are many of Thorbiorn's kin of great account: and the likeliest thing I deem it to go to Steinthor of Ere; for he of all men has promised to help me in my need."

So they all bade him look to it, and they would do his will, and not depart from him till he deemed it meet. So then they put forth into the firth and lay hard on their oars, but Howard sat by the tiller. Then spake Hallgrim, bidding Howard sing somewhat; and he sang :

How have all we, O Hallgrim, Well wreaked a mighty vengeance On Thiodrek's son I full surely We never shall repent it. For Thorbiorn's sake the ship-lords In storm of steel were smitten; And I wot that the people's wasters Yet left would fain repay us.


27 December 2019 saga, Howard, norse, viking, translated, english Read Book