En 11c The Magy

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    11c. Death of the Magy

    [085/12] What became of the Magy:

    After the mother was killed, he had the Lamp and the maidens brought to his ship, as well as all the spoils that were to his liking. Then he sailed up the Flee Lake, as he wanted to abduct the burgmaid of Medeasblik or Staveren to install her as mother. But they had been forewarned. The navigators of Staveren and of the Alderga were eager to confront him, but the great fleet was out on a distant voyage. Now they set to work and sailed with their small fleet to Medeasblik, where they hid in a creek within the shadow of the trees.

    Although it was a clear, sunlit day when the Magy reached Medeasblik, his men were heedless and set about storming the burg without noticing us. So, when all his boats had landed, our navigators came [086] out from the creek and shot their arrows with turpentine torches at his fleet. They were so well aimed that many of the ships were instantly engulfed in flame. The watchmen on board the ships tried to shoot back but found no mark.

    When at last a burning vessel drifted towards the Magy’s ship, he commanded his skipper to evade. But that skipper was the Dane who had slain the Finn. He replied: “You sent our honored mother to the bottom of the sea to announce your coming. This you may have forgotten in all your busy doings, so I will see that you keep your word.” The Magy tried to ward him off, but the skipper, a true Frya and strong as an ox, took him by the head with both hands and hurled him overboard into the raging waves. Then he hoisted his brown shield aloft and sailed straight to our fleet, delivering the maidens to us unharmed. But the Lamp had gone out, and no one knew how it had happened.

    When news reached the remaining ships that the Magy had drowned, they sailed off, as their navigators were mostly Danes. When the fleet was far enough away, our navigators turned and rained their burning arrows down upon the Finns, [087] who, seeing how they were betrayed, ran about wildly, having no longer any among them willing or able to command. In this hour, a sortie of the guards hastened forth from the burg. Those who did not flee were slain, and those who fled found their end in the quagmires of the Creil Woods.[1]


    As the navigators lay waiting in the creek, a quipster from Staveren was among them, who said: “If our hiding in this creek ends up saving her from her burg, Medea may laugh!”[2] Thus, the maidens named the creek ‘Medea-mei-lakkia’.[3]


    What has come to pass since then, may all people remember. It is up to the maidens to tell the story in their way and have it properly recorded. Thus, we reckon our task herewith fulfilled.


    End of the book


    1. 'Creil Woods' (KRÍLINGER WALD) — or: thicket wood; compare ch. 13d, Ode to Adela [096/31], ch. 19d, Idolatry and Superstition [206/10].
    2. HÍR UT — can have a double meaning: ‘from out of here (this small creek)’ or ‘out of this (plan)’.
    3. The old name for the West-Frisian coastal city Medemblik (or the creek after which it would have been named) was ‘Medemolacha’.

    Sandbach 1876

    [p.117 cont.] How it fared afterwards with the Magy.

    After the murder of the mother, he brought the lamp and the maidens into his own ship, together with all [p.119] the booty that he chose. Afterwards he went p the Flymeer because he wished to take the maiden of Medeasblik or Stavoren and install her as mother; but there they were on their guard. The seafaring men of Stavoren and Alderga would gladly have gone to Jon, but the great fleet was out on a distant voyage; so they proceeded in their small fleet to Medeasblik, and kept themselves concealed in a sheltered place behind trees. The Magy approached Medeasblik in broad daylight; nevertheless, his men boldly stormed the citadel. But as they landed from the boats, our people sallied forth from the creek, and shot their arrows with balls of burning turpentine upon the fleet. They were so well aimed that many of the ships were instantly on fire. Those left to guard the ships shot at us, but they could not reach us. When at last a burning ship drifted towards the ship of the Magy, he ordered the man at the helm to sheer off, but this man was the Dane who had cleft the head of the Finn. He said, You sent our Eeremoeder to the bottom of the sea to say that you were coming. In the bustle of the fight you might forget it; now I will take care that you keep your word. The Magy tried to push him off, but the sailor, a real Frisian and strong as an ox, clutched his head with both hands, and pitched him into the surging billows. Then he hoisted up his brown shield, and sailed straight to our fleet. Thus the maidens came unhurt to us; bat the lamp was extinguished, and no one knew how that had happened. When those on the uninjured ships heard that the Magy was drowned, they sailed away, because their crews were Danes. When the fleet was far enough off, our sailors turned and shot their burning arrows at the Finns. When the Finns saw that, and found that they were betrayed, they fell into confusion, and lost all discipline and order. At this moment the garrison sallied [p.121] forth from the citadel. Those who resisted were killed, and those who fled found their death in the marshes of the Krylinger wood. Postscript.

    When the sailors were in the creek, there was a wag from Stavoren among them, who said, Medea may well laugh if we rescue her from her citadel. Upon this, the maidens gave to the creek the name Medea mêilakkia (Lake of Medea).[1] The occurrences that happened after this everybody can remember. The maidens ought to relate it in their own way, and have it well inscribed. We consider that our task is fulfilled. Hail!

    The End Of The Book.

    Note Sandbach

    1. Medemi lacus, Lake of Medea's laughter.

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