ROLF GANGER DRIVEN INTO BANISHMENT.
Heimskringla version by Snorri Sturlasson.
Earl Ragnvald was King Harald's dearest friend, and the king had the
greatest regard for him. He was married to Hild, a daughter of Rolf
Nefia, and their sons were Rolf and Thorer. Earl Ragnvald had also three
sons by concubines, -- the one called Hallad, the second Einar, the
third Hrollaug; and all three were grown men when their brothers born in
marriage were still children.
Rolf became a great viking, and was of so
stout a growth that no horse could carry him, and wheresoever he went he
must go on foot; and therefore he was called Rolf Ganger. He plundered
much in the East sea. One summer, as he was coming from the eastward on
a viking's expedition to the coast of Viken, he landed there and made a
As King Harald happened, just at that time, to be in
Viken, he heard of it, and was in a great rage; for he had forbid, by
the greatest punishment, the plundering within the bounds of the
country. The king assembled a Thing, and had Rolf declared an outlaw
over all Norway.
When Rolf's mother, Hild heard of it she hastened to
the king, and entreated peace for Rolf; but the king was so enraged that
her entreaty was of no avail.
Then Hild spake these lines:
Think'st thou, King Harald, in thy anger,
To drive away my brave Rolf Ganger
Like a mad wolf, from out the land?
Why, Harald, raise thy mighty hand?
Why banish Nefia's gallant name-son,
The brother of brave udal-men?
Why is thy cruelty so fell?
Bethink thee, monarch, it is ill
With such a wolf at wolf to play,
Who, driven to the wild woods away
May make the king's best deer his prey.
Rolf Ganger went afterwards over sea to the West to the Hebrides, or
Sudreys; and at last farther west to Valland, where he plundered and
subdued for himself a great earldom, which he peopled with Northmen,
from which that land is called Normandy.
Rolf Ganger's son was William,
father to Richard, and grandfather to another Richard, who was the
father of Robert Longspear, and grandfather of William the Bastard, from
whom all the following English kings are descended. From Rolf Ganger
also are descended the earls in Normandy.
Queen Ragnhild the Mighty
lived three years after she came to Norway; and, after her death, her
son and King Harald's was taken to the herse Thorer Hroaldson, and Eirik
was fostered by him.
Quoted from Heimskringla (DL SunSITE)