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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Gamli kanóki (Gamlkan)

12th century; volume 7; ed. Katrina Attwood;

1. Harmsól (Has) - 65

Skj info: Gamli kanóki, Islandsk gejstlig og skjald, 12. årh. (AI, 561-72, BI, 547-65).

Skj poems:
1. Jóansdrápa
2. Harmsól

Gamli kanóki ‘canon Gamli’ (where the name Gamli, ‘the old one’ may itself be a nickname) is best known as the author of the poem Harmsól ‘Sun of Sorrow’, which is explicitly ascribed to him in a marginal note at the beginning of the poem on fol. 12r, l. 42 of the sole surviving ms., AM 757 a 4° (B): Harmsol er gamle orti kanokeHarmsól, which canon Gamli composed’. Gamli is also mentioned by name in Jóns saga postula (Jón4), where the author of the prose text prefaces the quotation of four sts from Gamli’s Jónsdrápa with the information: Annan mann til óðgirðar signaðum Johanni nefnum vér Gamla kanunk austr í Þykkvabœ, hann orti drápu dyrligum Johanni ‘As the second man to have composed a poem to blessed John we [I] name canon Gamli in the east at Þykkvabœr, he composed a drápa to S. John’ (Jón4 1874, 510). In a remark before the fourth st. Gamli is referred to as bróðir Gamli ‘Brother Gamli’ (Jón4 1874, 511). Þykkvabœr was an Augustinian monastery in south-eastern Iceland founded in 1168; Gamli was thus an Augustinian canon (or canon regular) of this community. His floruit can be inferred from the date of the foundation of Þykkvabœr as being in the mid- to late C12th.

files
file 2006-12-15 - Gamli kanoki w. MCR corrections

Harmsól (‘Sun of Sorrow’) — Gamlkan HasVII

Katrina Attwood 2007, ‘(Introduction to) Gamli kanóki, Harmsól’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 70-132.

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Skj: Gamli kanóki: 2. Harmsól, „er gamle orti kanoke“ (AI, 562-72, BI, 548-65)

SkP info: VII, 70-132

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance references search files

 

1 Hár stillir, lúk heilli
hreggtjalda, mér, aldar,
upp, þús allar skaptir,
óðborgar hlið góðu,
mjúk svát mættik auka
môl gnýlundum stála
miska bót af mætu
mín fulltingi þínu.
High ruler of the storm-tents [SKY/HEAVEN > = God], you who created all humans, open up for me the gate of the fortress [BREAST > MOUTH] of poetry with good grace, so that I might augment my soft words, the remedy for misdeeds, for trees of the din of swords [(lit. ‘din-trees of swords’) BATTLE > WARRIORS] with your excellent help.
2 Engr má elda sløngvir
— allvíst es þat — Mistar
maklig orð til mærðar
minn dróttinn þér finna,
þars, élhallar, ǫllu
est, skýrr konungr, dýrri,
rómu linns þvís runnar
rammglyggs megi of hyggja.
No slinger of the fires of Mist <valkyrie> [SWORDS > WARRIOR] can find fitting words in praise of you, my Lord — that is altogether true — because you are, pure king of the storm-hall [SKY/HEAVEN > = God], more precious than all that which bushes of the strong storm of the snake of battle [SWORD > BATTLE > WARRIORS] may imagine.
3 Send þú yðvarn anda,
einskepjandi, hreinan
mér, þanns mitt of fœri
munar grand heðan, landa.
Alls megu ekki þollar
án fremja þess hônum
súða viggs, es seggjum
siðabót af því hljótisk.
Send your pure spirit to me, sole creator of lands [= God], the one which may carry hence my sorrow of mind. Trees of the steed of planking [SHIP > SEAFARERS] can by no means achieve this without it [lit. him, viz. the Holy Spirit], because moral amendment may proceed for men from it.
4 Mér vil ek ok eirar
— oss byrjar þat — hnossa
himins stillandi hollrar
hæstr miskunnar æsta,
þótt óverðum orðum,
ítr fylkir, mik lítir
víst fyr vás ok lǫstu,
veðrhallar, þik kveðja.
I wish to ask on my own behalf for wholesome grace and clemency, highest regulator of the ornaments of heaven [HEAVENLY BODIES > = God] — that is fitting for us [me] —, though you see me, glorious king of the storm-hall [SKY/HEAVEN > = God], call on you with unworthy words, surely because of sinfulness and flaws.
5 Þú býðr ǫll* með iðran,
einn Kristr, viðum Mistar
linns fyr lærðum mǫnnum
lýti sín at tína,
ok, hábrautar, heitið
hreggvǫrðr, þegar seggjum
sannri líkn ok syknu,
snjallr, fyr vás ok galla.
You, the one Christ, command trees of the snake of Mist <valkyrie> [SWORD > WARRIORS] to enumerate all their faults with repentence before learned men; and you promise straight away to men, excellent warden of the high path of the storm [(lit. ‘storm-warden of the high path’) SKY/HEAVEN > = God], true mercy and acquittal for sinfulness and flaws.
6 Oss verðr ey, nema þessum
aldr várn boðum haldim
(menn búisk mǫrgu sinni)
meiri ógn (við þeiri),
hver þvít hætt rôð bǫrva
hlms á øfsta dómi
upp fyr allri skepnu
ósǫgð koma lǫgðis.
Our terror will always increase unless we keep these commands during our lives; let men prepare themselves for it many a time, since all unconfessed, dangerous counsels of the trees of the sound of the sword [BATTLE > WARRIORS] will become known before all creation at the Last Judgement.
7 Ungr vǫndumk ek, yngvi,
opt djarf*liga at hvarfa,
(lítt gáðak þá) þjóðar,
(þín) ept vilja mínum.
Enn snørak jafnan inni,
illt ráð þás mik villti,
dýrðhittandi dróttinn
dáðrakkr, við þér hnakka.
Prince of the people [= God], as a young man I often presumptuously developed the habit of wandering according to my desire; I paid you little heed then. Further I always turned my back on you inwardly, deed-bold, glory-finding Lord, when evil counsel led my heart astray.
8 Oflǫskvan hǫfum œsku
aldr várn spanit sjaldan
— barkat blóm á verkum
bráðgǫrt — frá ódôðum,
ítr, þás opt á móti
ófríð risu blíðum,
mærðvinnandi manna,
mín verk boðum þínum.
We [I] have rarely enticed our [my] lazy age of youth away from misdeeds — I did not bear easily ripened fruit on account of my deeds —, when my ugly deeds often rose against your friendly commands, glorious praise-winner of men [= God].
9 Gerðak opt í orðum,
eljunsterkr, sem verkum,
hreggs bjartloga, ok hyggju,
hróts, í gǫgn þér, dróttinn.
Þræll hefr þinn í allan
þann, lífgjafi manna,
ófs grǫndugrar andar
ástsnauðr hratat dauða.
I often acted against you in words, as in deeds and thought, energy-strong lord of the bright flame of the roof of the storm [SKY/HEAVEN > SUN > = God]; lifegiver of men [= God], your love-bereft servant has stumbled into the total death of an excessively sinful soul.
10 Þinn hefir þunglig unnit
(þat fœrir mjǫk) sœri
synðugr þjónn (frá svinnu)
sóltjalds konungr (aldir).
Mæltak mart, þats spillti,
(mætr, vissir þat, gætir
ranns) í rausan minni,
(rǫðuls) fyr mér ok ǫðrum.
King of the sun-tent [SKY/HEAVEN > = God], your sinful servant has sworn heavy oaths; that removes men a lot from good sense. I said many things in my bragging which had a corrupting effect on myself and others; you knew that, excellent keeper of the house of the sun [SKY/HEAVEN > = God].
11 Ókynnin gatk annan
optsinnis þar vinna
víga* ljóss, es vissak,
veðr-Þrótt, á mik dróttinn.
Lítt bark ǫnn ok ótta,
undgjalfrs, fyr mér sjǫlfum,
grálinns geymirunna
glaðr þás dœmðak aðra.
I declared oftentimes [that] another Þróttr <= Óðinn> of the storm of the flame of battles [(lit. ‘storm-Þróttr of the flame of battles’) SWORD > BATTLE > WARRIOR] was committing the sins there which I knew myself to be guilty of [lit. (were) in myself], Lord. I had little worry and fear for myself, when I gladly [lit. glad] judged other protecting bushes of the grey serpent of the wound-surge [BLOOD > SWORD > WARRIORS].
12 Bergðak brjósti saurgu,
byrjar hlunns, sem munni,
hreins, ok holdi þínu,
huggóðr jǫfurr, blóði.
Þó sék, þengill skýja
þrifskjótr, — meginljótir
hagir sýnask mér mínir
margir — þar til bjargar.
I tasted your blood and body with an unclean heart and mouth, merciful prince of the launching-roller of the fair [lit. pure] breeze [SKY/HEAVEN > = God (= Christ)]. Nevertheless I look there [i.e. to the body and blood of Christ] for help, prosperity-swift king of the clouds [= God (= Christ)]; many of my actions seem to me extremely ugly.
13 Létk í ljós fyr gautum
láðs nǫkkurar dáðir
laxa fróns, en leyndak
lǫskum þôtt, sem máttak,
seggja kind at sýndisk,
(setrs) þokka mun betri,
(vísi hár) an værak
(vel kunnum því, sunnu).
I allowed certain deeds to come to light before the men of the land of the land of the salmon [SEA > GOLD > MEN], but I concealed my weaknesses as best I could, so that I should appear to the race of men [MANKIND] a great deal better than I was; we were [I was] well pleased with that, high king of the seat of the sun [SKY/HEAVEN > = God].
14 Hendak hverjar stundir,
Hlakkar borðs, es þorðak,
miskaráð fyr meiðum,
minn lífgjafi, at vinna.
Miðr óttuðumk yðra*
ósjaldan, gramr tjalda,
— því vasa hagskipt — hyrjar
heiðs, an gumna reiði.
I seized on all the times when I dared to commit misdeeds before trees of Hlǫkk’s <valkyrie> board [SHIELD > WARRIORS], my life-giver [= God]. Not seldom I feared your wrath less than men’s, king of the tents of the fire of the clear sky [SUN > SKY/HEAVEN > = God]; in that regard it was not a fair exchange.
15 Hétk opt fyr lið láta
lasta verk til fasta
þér, en þekkjask dýrar,
þeyláðs konungr, dáðir.
Enn snørumk ey til minna
aptr, landreki krapta,
(esa vanði sá) synða
(sjaldreyndr kyni aldar).
I often promised you firmly to lay sinful acts [lit. acts of vices] aside and be content with good deeds, king of the thawing wind’s land [SKY/HEAVEN > = God]. I always again turned back to my sins, land-governor of powers [= God]; that custom is not infrequently tested by the kinsfolk of men [MANKIND].
16 Hefr, at hvern of rifjak,
harri minn, til fjarri,
grandi firðr, þanns gerðak
geig, es sék þik eigi,
elsku kuðr, alls yðvarr,
ǫðlingr, hefik, rǫðla,
aumligr þræll í ǫllum
afgerðum mik vafðan.
It is far [from the case] that I can enumerate every injury that I have committed when I do not see you, my Lord, removed from sin, since I, your wretched servant, have wrapped myself in all [kinds of] misdeeds, prince of heavenly bodies [= God], renowned for love.
17 Hverr es greppr, sás gerra,
grunnúðigr, þér unna,
— slíkr hǫfum synða auki
sótt — heimstǫðu dróttinn.
Þú biðr ǫlð, en aðrir,
almáttigr guð, sátta,
ýta ferð at yrði
aldýr, sǫkum valda.
Every man who does not love you is simple-minded, Lord of the world [= God]; such an increase of sins has visited us [me]. Almighty God, you ask mankind for settlement, so that the race of men [MANKIND] might become blessed, but others cause offences.
18 Ítr, lýstir þú ástar,
élserkjar gramr, merki
láðs við lyptimeiða
linns í hérvist þinni.
Guð, rétt guðdóm yðvarn
(glatask mein af því) hreinan
(hǫlða liðs) at hylja,
hár, manndómi vôrum.
Glorious prince of the storm-shirt [SKY/HEAVEN > = God (= Christ)], you showed a sign of your love towards the lifting-poles of the land of the serpent [GOLD > MEN] in your sojourn here. Exalted God, you decided to cover your pure divinity with our humanity; the harm of the race of men [SIN] is destroyed by that.
19 Þú vast, mæztr, frá meyju,
— mikil dýrð es þat fyrðum —
hauðrs, í heim með lýðum,
hildingr, borinn mildri.
Sæll bart óstyrkð alla,
ágætr, ok meinlæti,
skrýðir skýja slóðar
skríns, á líkam þínum.
Most precious prince of the earth [= God (= Christ)], you were born into the world amongst men of a gentle maiden; that is a great honour to mankind. Glorious adorner of the shrine of the path of the clouds [HEAVEN > = God (= Christ)], you gladly bore all weaknesses and sufferings on your body.
20 Skjǫldungi róm skyldir
skýja tjalds ok aldar
greitt, sem gǫfgast mætti,
grandlausum stef vanda.
Ern skóp hauðr ok hlýrni
heims valdr sem kyn beima;
ǫrrs ok ǫllu dýrri
élsetrs konungr betri.
We are [I am] obliged to fashion a free-flowing refrain, as excellent as may [be], for the sinless prince of the tent of the clouds [SKY/HEAVEN > = God (= Christ)] and of mankind. The powerful ruler of the world [= God] created earth and heaven as well as the kinsfolk of men [MANKIND]; the generous king of the storm-seat [SKY/HEAVEN > = God] is better and more precious than all.
21 Endr vast barðr ok bundinn,
buðlungr, meginþungar,
hlýrnis elds, af hǫldum,
hár, fyr sekðir várar.
Enn lézt, ǫldu runna
angrstríðir, þik síðan,
viggs, meðal vándra seggja,
vegligr, á tré negla.
Once you were beaten and bound by men because of our very heavy sins, high king of the fire of the sky [SUN > = God (= Christ)]. Further you allowed yourself afterwards to be nailed to a tree between wicked men, magnificent sin-fighter of the trees of the steed of the wave [SHIP > SEAFARERS > = God (= Christ)].
22 Þjófr annarr tók þannig,
þrifvaldr gǫfugr, aldar
— sôl vas hans ófs ok ælig
ósæl — við gram mæla:
‘Nú sýn afl, ins eina
alls þú guðs sonr kallask,
ok með ǫflgu ríki,
oss, stíg niðr af krossi!’
One thief — his soul was excessively wretched and vile — began to speak thus to the prince of men [= God (= Christ)], noble promoter [= God (= Christ)] of well-being: ‘Now show us your might, since you call yourself the son of the one God, and step down from the Cross with your mighty power!’
23 Yðr nam annarr kveðja
illvirki svá, stillir
hás, þás hræddisk píslir,
hríðar nausts, með trausti:
‘minnsk þú, mildingr sunnu,
mín,’ kvað bauga tínir,
‘þ*itt — ák hag til hættan
heldr — es kemr í veldi.’
The other malefactor began to call on you thus with faith, when he dreaded torments, ruler of the high boatshed of the tempest [SKY/HEAVEN > = God (= Christ)]: ‘prince of the sun [= God (= Christ)], remember me,’ said the gatherer of rings [MAN], ‘when you come into your kingdom: I am in a rather too perilous situation’.
24 Hlaut af yðr sem aðrir
auðbrjótr meginskjóta,
láðs, þeirs lǫstum eyða,
líkn, skepjandi ríkis.
Sókndeili* hézt sælu,
sannvíss, paradísar,
— gæf reyndusk þau þjófi
þín heit — friðar veitir.
The destroyer of riches [GENEROUS MAN] received very swift mercy from you, creator of the kingdom of the land [EARTH > = God (= Christ)], like those others who leave off sins. Truly certain giver of peace [= God (= Christ)] you promised the battle-dealer [WARRIOR] the bliss of Paradise; those promises of yours proved beneficial to the thief.
25 Hollostu gefr hæsta
hring-Þrótt með sér dróttinn
saðr, þeims sinna iðrask
synða, lausn ok ynði.
Ern skóp hauðr ok hlýrni
heims valdr sem kyn beima;
ǫrrs ok ǫllu dýrri
élsetrs konungr betri.
The true Lord gives the ring-Þróttr <= Óðinn> [MAN] who repents of his sins the highest faith, absolution and delight with him. The powerful ruler of the world [= God] created earth and heaven as well as the kinsfolk of men [MANKIND]; the generous king of the storm-seat [SKY/HEAVEN > = God] is better and more precious than everything.
26 Hverr myndi s hendir
harðgeðr loga fjarðar,
éla ranns (ef ynni)
ítr … (þér) rítar,
at, þreknenninn, þinni
…, sættandi, mætti
ógrátandi, ýta,
ormlands hjá kvǫl standa?
Glorious … of the shield of the house of storms [SKY/HEAVEN > SUN > = God (= Christ)], which distributor of the fire of the fjord [GOLD > GENEROUS MAN] could [be] so hard-minded, if he loved you, that [he], a … of the snake-land [GOLD > MAN] might stand unweeping by your Passion, powerful reconciler of men [= God (= Christ)]?
27 Sæll, tókt einn fyr allar
óverðr guma ferðir,
sannstýrandi, sáran,
sólhauðrs, á þik dauða,
ok liðfasta (leystir)
lífs unnir þú runnum
(hǫlða ferð ór harðri
harms gnótt) fira dróttinn.
Blessed true-steerer of the sun-land [SKY/HEAVEN > = God (= Christ)], alone, undeserving, you took a painful death upon yourself for all the hosts of men [MANKIND], and you granted life to bushes of arm-fires [GOLD RINGS > MEN], lord of men [= God (= Christ)]; you freed the host of men [MANKIND] from a cruel abundance of grief.
28 Hilmir, reist, ins hæsta
hríðtjalds, ór grǫf síðan,
flýtileygs, á frægjum,
friðsamr, degi þriðja,
ok rá*ðvísa, ræsir
regnhallar, vannt fegna,
áðr þás yðvarr dauði,
aldyggr, fira hryggði.
Peaceful prince of the swift fire of the highest storm-tent [SKY/HEAVEN > SUN > = God (= Christ)], you rose then from the grave on the famous third day, and, altogether honourable king of the rain-hall [SKY/HEAVEN > = God (= Christ)], you made glad the counsel-wise people whom your death had saddened previously.
29 Leitt í lopt upp, dróttinn
— litu gǫrla þat vitrir —
himins fylgjandi, helgu
holdi skrýddr, af foldu.
Áðr trúir ǫld ok síðan
aldýran þik stýra,
skríngeypnandi, skepnu,
skýstalls, sælu allri.
Helping lord of heaven [= Christ], you rose up into the sky from earth, clothed with holy flesh; wise men saw that clearly. Holder of the shrine of the cloud-platform [(lit. ‘cloud-platform’s shrine-holder’) SKY/HEAVEN > SUN > = God (= Christ)], mankind believes, before and since, that you, altogether glorious, govern all the bliss of creation.
30 Ítr lofar engla sveitar
allr herr salar fjalla
víst með vegsemð hæstri
vǫrð* ok menn á jǫrðu.
Ern skóp hauðr ok hlýrni
heims valdr sem kyn beima;
ǫrrs ok ǫllu dýrri
élsetrs konungr betri.
All the glorious host of the company of angels and men on earth certainly praise the guardian of the hall of the mountains [SKY/HEAVEN > = God] with the highest honour. The powerful ruler of the world [= God] created earth and heaven as well as the kinsfolk of men [MANKIND]; the generous king of the storm-seat [SKY/HEAVEN > = God] is better and more precious than everything.
31 Enn mun ǫðru sinni
ǫðlingr koma hingat
mána tjalds inn mildi
meðr til dóms at kveðja.
Geisar eldr ok œsisk
ǫlna fold; ór moldu
ferð vaknar þá fyrða
flest við ugg inn mesta.
Again the gentle ruler of the tent of the moon [SKY/HEAVEN > = God (= Christ)] will come here a second time to call men to judgement. Fire will rage and the land of the mackerel [SEA] will surge; most of the troop of men will awaken then from the grave [lit. from the soil] with the greatest terror.
32 Engr mun alls á þingi
ísheims vesa þvísa
jóskreytandi ítrum
óttalauss fyr dróttni,
éla vangs þvít englar
jǫfurs skjalfa þá sjalfir
— ógn tekr môttug magnask —
mæts við ugg ok hræzlu.
Not a single adorner of the horse of the ice-world [(lit. ‘horse-adorner of the ice-world’) SEA > SHIP > SEAFARER] will be fearless before the glorious Lord at this assembly, for the very angels of the worthy king of the field of storms [SKY/HEAVEN > = God] will tremble then with fear and dread; mighty terror will begin to increase.
33 Hǫrð munat hógligt verða
hjalmstýranda ins dýra
sunnu synðgum mǫnnum
sekðarorð at forðask,
systkin mín, þvít sýnask
sôr ok kross fyr ossu
dróttins várs með dreyra
dyggs augliti hryggu.
It will not be easy for sinful men to escape the harsh words of damnation of the precious ruler of the helmet of the sun [(lit. ‘helmet-ruler of the sun’) SKY/HEAVEN > = God (= Christ)], because, my brothers and sisters, the wounds and Cross of our faithful Lord, as well as his blood, will appear before our rueful faces [lit. face].
34 Vér getk, fátt at fœrim
framm í orða glammi
at dáðgeymis mi
dýrðargjarns of varnir,
áðr ef eigi réðum
aldar kyns fyr synðir
— heldr reynisk þat hǫlðum
hætt — við gram til sættar.
I believe that we will advance our defences poorly in a babble of words at the Judgement of the glory-eager deed-guardian [= God (= Christ)], if previously we have not made peace for our sins with the prince of the race of men [MANKIND > = God]; that will prove rather dangerous for men.
35 Orð megu vǫnduð verða
víst aldrigi Kristi
— guðs an gǫrvallt œðri
gœzkufyldr — sem skyldi.
Sterk lofar drótt ok dýrkar
dagstalls konung snjallan;
himins es fylkir fremri
fróðr hvívetna góðu.
Words can surely never be as carefully chosen for Christ as they should be; grace-filled God is higher than everything. The mighty host praises and worships the excellent king of the day-support [SKY/HEAVEN > = God]; the wise king of heaven [= God] is superior to everything that is good.
36 Dómsorði lýkr dýrðar
dróttar valdr á aldir,
þars greinisk lið ljóna
loks í tvenna flokka.
Spǫnð lætr ǫll til ynðis
óttlaust af því móti
sunnu hvéls ok sælu
sín bǫrn konungr fjǫrnis.
The ruler of the company of glory [ANGELS > = God] will pass judgement on men, where the host of men [MANKIND] will finally divide into two groups. The king of the helmet of the wheel of the sun [SUN > SKY/HEAVEN > = God] causes all his children to be drawn without fear from that gathering to joy and bliss.
37 Gumar líta þá gæti
— gengr allt við kjǫr drengjum
heilags Krists — í hæstum
himinljóma guðdómi.
Oss skyldi sú aldri
unaðsgnótt fira dróttins
— þars ǫrsløngvi engum
angrsamt — ór hug ganga.
Men will look then upon the guardian of the light [SUN > = God (= Christ)] of heaven in his highest Godhead; everything will go for men according to the decision of holy Christ. That abundant bliss [lit. bliss of abundance] of the men of the Lord [CHRISTIAN PEOPLE] should never pass out of our minds; no arrow-slinger [MAN] is sorrowful there.
38 Þjóð á hart, sús hlýða
hildings boðum vildat
lofða kyns meðan lifði,
lýtum kend fyr hendi.
Sú rasar aum í aumar
óvísligar píslir;
ey grœtir þar ýta
uggr, en vætki huggar.
That group of people, known for sins, who would not heed the commandments of the prince of the race of men [MANKIND > RULER = Christ] while it lived, faces hardship. It rushes wretched into wretched, uncertain tortures; fear grieves people there perpetually, and nothing affords comfort.
39 Fnyk þola flærðar auknir
fleygjendr þrimu leygjar
— þar liggr elds á ǫldum
íma — frost með bríma.
Mǫrgs ǫnnur þar manna
meiri ógn ok fleira
angr, an ór megi tunga,
óvegs, frá því segja.
Flingers of the flame of battle [SWORD > WARRIORS], swollen with falsehood, endure stench, frost with flame; there lie embers of fire upon men. Many another greater terror for dishonourable men is there and more sorrow than our [my] tongue is able to describe.
40 Mjǫk gengr môttr ok ríki
mæts varðanda jarðar
— lýð dugir helzt at hræðask
hann — of allt vit manna.
Sterk lofar drótt ok dýrkar
dagstalls konung snjallan;
himins es fylkir fremri
fróðr hvívetna góðu.
The might and power of the glorious guardian of the earth [= God] surpasses greatly all the understanding of men; it befits people most of all to fear him. The mighty host praises and glorifies the excellent king of the day-support [SKY/HEAVEN > = God]; the wise king of heaven [= God] is superior to everything that is good.
41 Kosti hverr við harra
— hætts ella mjǫk — sættask
byrjar láðs — hvat bíðum?
blikvaldr þrimu tjalda.
Opt verðr Ægis leiptra
ein stund viðum grundar
nauðr erumk ǫll at eyða
andar mein — at seinum.
Let every wielder of the gleam of the tents of battle [(lit. ‘gleam-wielder of the tents of battle’) SHIELDS > SWORD > WARRIOR] try to reconcile himself with the lord of the land of the fair wind [SKY/HEAVEN > = God]; otherwise, there is great danger; what are we waiting for? Often one hour will be too late for the trees of the lightnings of the plain of Ægir <sea-king> [SEA > GOLD > MEN]; it is a necessity for me to blot out all injuries of the spirit.
42 Ungr skyldi þat ǫldu
eyktemjandi fremja,
gífrs es gǫmlum hœfir
gunntjalds boða at halda.
Trauð verðr hǫnd, en hlýða
hrynvengis má engum
Gaut, nema gǫr verk bœti,
grundar mens, af venju.
A young tamer of the horse of the wave [(lit. ‘horse-tamer of the wave’) SHIP > SEAFARER] should do what it befits an old messenger of the troll-wife of the battle-tent [SHIELD > AXE > WARRIOR] to keep doing. The hand becomes unwilling, but no Gautr <= Óðinn> of the ringing-land of the necklace of the earth [= Miðgarðsormr > GOLD > MAN] may be saved, unless he makes reparation for deeds done out of habit.
43 Ræfrs esat lǫngu lífi
lungbeitǫndum heitit
— raun finna þess runnar
randéls — af gram landa.
Þvís hringstyrjar hverjum
hag sinn með trú fagri
yngra þoll ok ellra
einsætt at vel hreinsi.
Ship-steerers [MEN] are not promised long life by the prince of the roof of lands [SKY/HEAVEN > = God]; bushes of the shield-storm [BATTLE > WARRIORS] gain experience of that. Therefore it is evident to each fir-tree of the sword-din [BATTLE > WARRIOR], to young and old, that he should thoroughly purify his state with beautiful faith.
44 Leygs hefr dánardœgri
dáðreyndr jǫfurr leynða
svana flugreinar sínu
sviptendr jǫru skriptar,
þvít frónspennir finna
fagrtjalda vill aldri
dœlar seiðs við dauða
dúnmeiða vanbúna.
The deed-proven prince of the flame of the flying-land of swans [SKY/HEAVEN > SUN > = God] has concealed from the brisk movers of the icon of battle [SHIELD > WARRIORS] their death-day, because the clasper of the fair tents of the earth [(lit. ‘earth-clasper of the fair tents’) SKY/HEAVEN > = God] wishes never to find the trees of the feather-bed of the fish of the dell [(lit. ‘feather-bed-trees of the fish of the dell’) SNAKE > GOLD > MEN] unprepared for death.
45 Háborgar, fæsk hvergi
hald, þats bresti aldri,
hreggs nema horskum seggjum
heitfastr jǫfurr veiti.
Sterk lofar drótt ok dýrkar
dagstalls konung snjallan;
himins es fylkir fremri
fróðr hvívetna góðu.
Nowhere is found that help which never fails, unless the promise-faithful prince of the high fortress of the storm [SKY/HEAVEN > = God] may grant [it] to prudent men. The mighty host praises and glorifies the glorious king of the day-support [SKY/HEAVEN > = God]; the excellent king of heaven [= God] is superior to everything that is good.
46 Enn lætk sagðan svinnum
sárklungrs viðum þungan
hôtt, þats hvern dag ættim
hræðask, framm í kvæði.
Þjóð mun sýna síðan
slœmr miskunnar dœmi,
— ek skylda þó aldri
ugglauss — þaus mik hugga.
Further I will relate in the poem to the wise trees of the wound-thorn [SWORD > WARRIORS], the oppressive way of life concerning that which we should fear every day. The slœmr will then show people examples of mercy, which comfort me — yet I ought never [be] without fear.
47 Lítk optliga ýta
ólíkan mik fíkjum
— aukumsk sôr í slíku
sótt — ástvinum dróttins.
Þeir bundusk vel vándra
verka ógnar sterkir,
brigða skjótt ok bœttu
bógsvells metendr, ella.
I see myself often [as] terribly unlike the dear friends of the lord of men [= God > SAINTS]; bitter distress increases for me because of this. Those valuers of arm’s ice [SILVER > MEN], strong in battle, kept themselves well away from evil deeds, or else made amends extremely quickly.
48 Frétt hafa* dyggvar dróttir,
Dávíð konungr síðan
snilli vanðr ept synðir
siðabót at tók skjóta.
Blíðr nam þengill þýðask
— þats bann — konu annars,
en réð, svát bar brôðum,
búandmann* af því svanna.
Worthy men have heard that King David, accustomed to eloquence, later made quick moral amends after his sins. The gentle king took pleasure in the wife of another man — that is forbidden — and for that reason brought about the death of the woman’s husband, in such a way that it happened by surprise.
49 Drengr réð brátt at beiða
buðlung ept hag þungan
hǫppum reifðr, sem hœfði,
himinríkis sér líkna.
Fekk an fyrr af søkkva
fríðr landreka síðan
— hann réttisk svá — sunnu
sætrs vingjafar mætri.
The man, endowed with successes, quickly resolved after his grievous sinfulness to beg the lord of the kingdom of heaven [= God] for mercies for himself, as was fitting. The noble one received then more glorious gifts of friendship than before from the land-ruler of the treasures of the seat of the sun [SKY/HEAVEN > HEAVENLY BODIES > = God]; he put himself right in this way.
50 Nítti einn við ótta
ítr postoli rítar
fróns musteris festi*
forðum þýjar orða.
Enn, þegars iðran sanna
aldrprýðir fekk lýða,
Pétr vann glœp með gráti
grandlauss þvegit vandla.
One glorious Apostle long ago denied the securer of the shield of the temple of the land [HEAVEN > SUN > = God (= Christ)] for fear of a bondswoman’s words. But, as soon as the adorner of the lives of men [SAINT = Peter] [lit. life-adorner of men] experienced true repentance, the sinless Peter washed his wickedness away completely with weeping.
51 Því lét seggja sveitar
sinn postola finna
— raun lýsir þat — ræsir
ríkr óstyrkðir slíkar,
at bæri mun meiri
malmrunnum várkunnir,
menn þótt misgǫrt vinni,
margfríðr skǫrungr síðan.
For this reason the powerful king of the company of men [MANKIND > = God (= Christ)] caused his Apostle to feel such weaknesses — experience shows that —, so that the very beautiful leader should later have considerably greater compassion for sword-trees [WARRIORS], even though men commit sins.
52 Hlaut Máría mætum
miskunn af gram sunnu,
víns þás virða reynis
Vôr þó fœtr með tárum.
Snjallr vann snót frá ǫllum
senn misgerðum hennar
gumna vǫrðr, þeims gerði,
— guði treystisk Bil — leysta.
Mary received mercy from the illustrious prince of the sun [= God (= Christ)], when the Vôr <goddess> of wine [WOMAN = Mary Magdalene] washed the feet of the tester of men [= God (= Christ)] with her tears. The wise guardian of men [= God (= Christ)] immediately released the woman from all her sins, which she had committed; Bil <goddess> trusted in God.
53 Slík styrkja mik merki,
minn guð, … þinna,
þótt atferðin yrði
ór herfilig stórum,
leiptra hróts at láta
láðvaldr muni aldri
glaðr, ef glœpa iðrumk,
glóða mik fyr róða.
Such tokens of your … strengthen me, my God, even though our [my] behaviour were to become very shameful, that the glad ruler of the land of the fires of the roof of lightnings [(lit. ‘land-ruler of the fires of the roof of lightnings’) SKY/HEAVEN > HEAVENLY BODIES > SKY/HEAVEN > = God] will never cast me to the winds, if I repent of my sins.
54 Sôlu veittak, sættir,
— sárrs minn … —
bana hættligar benjar,
bragna kyns, fyr synðir.
Nú beiðum þik, þjóðar
þrekfœðandi, grœða
andar sôr, þaus óru
ósvífr glata lífi.
Reconciler of the kindred of heroes [MEN > = God], I dealt … soul dangerous wounds of death because of my sins; bitter is my …. Now we [I] beg you, strength-nourisher of the people [= God], to heal the soul’s wounds which, relentless, destroy our [my] life.
55 Brigðr es heimr, sás hugðak,
— hann døkkvir sið manna —
verðr lýðr á láði
lastauðigr, vinfastan.
Eykr, sás eigi rœkir
orð þín, friðar tínir,
hjǫrva þollr, en hylli
hans leitar, sér vansa.
The world, which I thought steadfast as a friend, is fickle; it darkens men’s behaviour; people on earth … become rich in sin. The fir-tree of swords [WARRIOR], who does not heed your words but seeks its [the world’s] favour, increases his own shame, gatherer of peace [= God].
56 Tregr emk ljót at láta
lastaverk til fasta
— mér bragar opt fyr augum —
æligs móðs fyr róða.
Þess ák mér at meira
margríkr jǫfurr, líknar,
fleygs ok foldar œgis,
friðar sjalfan þik biðja.
I am reluctant to abandon the ugly sins of a vile soul too completely; it [i.e. sin] often glimmers before my eyes. Therefore I must beg you the more for peace for myself, very powerful king of mercy and of the swirling helmet of the land [SKY/HEAVEN > = God].
57 Heldr dœmðu mik, hǫlða
happvinnandi, þinni
meir af miskunn dýrri,
mætastr, an réttlæti.
Lít ok virð, sem vættik,
valdr blásinna tjalda
hreggs, at hjǫlp of þiggi,
hár, óstyrkðir várar.
Most illustrious luck-worker of men [= God], judge me rather more out of your precious mercy than justice. Consider and evaluate our [my] frailties, which, I expect, may receive help, high ruler of the windswept tents of the storm [SKY/HEAVEN > = God].
58 Hvar megim oss, inn ǫrvi
ýta kyns, fyr synðir
sôr eða sekðir órar,
sættir, skjóls of vætta,
nema lastauknum líkna,
logskríns, vilir þínum
sjalfr, þeims synðir skelfa,
sæll gervandi, þræli?
Where may we expect shelter because of our sins, griefs or guilts, generous reconciler of the kinsfolk of men [HUMANS > = God], unless you yourself desire to have mercy on your sin-laden servant, whom sins cause to tremble, blessed creator of the flame-shrine [SKY/HEAVEN > = God]?
59 Hlut meguð hvern til gotna,
happkunnig, miskunnar
ramligs bús af ræsi
rǫðuls, Máría, ǫðlask.
Vest ávalt at trausti,
vegstýris, mér dýru,
mild, at missak aldri,
móðir *, yðvars góða.
Mary, you renowned for good fortune, can obtain everything from the king of the strong homestead of the sun [SKY/HEAVEN > = God] for mercy for men. Always be a precious support to me, gentle mother of the honour-controller [= God (= Christ) > = Mary], so that I may never lose your goodwill.
60 Vættik oss með ótta,
alskírt himins birti
hǫfuðmusteri ins hæsta
hildings, af þér mildi,
hauðrs, þvít hugga fríðir
hug minn siðir þínir,
grams kastali inn glæsti
glyggs, en várt líf hryggvir.
I hope for us [for myself] with fear for mercy from you, altogether brilliant chief temple of the highest prince of heaven’s brightness [SUN > = God (= Christ)], because your fine virtues comfort my mind, but our [my] way of life distresses [it], splendid fortress of the prince of the land of the wind [SKY/HEAVEN > = God (= Christ)].
61 Verðrat, blíðr, fyr borði
brjótr, hǫfðingi snóta,
— mjǫk treystumk því — Mistar
myrkleygs, sás þik dýrkar,
þvít vegskjótum* veita,
veðrs landreka strandar,
vilt, svinn, ok mátt mǫnnum,
móðir, allt it góða.
The destroyer of Mist’s <valkyrie> dark flame [SWORD > WARRIOR], who worships you, gentle chief of women, will not be lost — we [I] greatly rely on that — because you are willing and able to grant men, swift in glory, all that is good, wise mother of the land-ruler of the shore of the wind [SKY/HEAVEN > = God (= Christ) > = Mary].
62 Hvern biðk hald ok árnan
helgan mann ins sanna,
(trús) við tírar ræsi
(trausts leitak) mér veita,
svát óbœttan ættim
engi kost, þás drengja
jǫfurr vill andar krefja
ástnenninn hal þenna.
I ask every holy man to grant me support and intercession with the king of the true glory — I am seeking certain protection —, so that we [I] might have no circumstance unatoned for when the love-disposed prince of men [= God (= Christ)] will ask this man for his soul.
63 Ér látið þau, ýta,
atferðar lok verða,
miskunnandi, minnar,
margríkr, at þér líki,
svát frá yðr í ítru
— oss kjósum þat — ljósi,
veglyndr veðra grundar
valdr, skiljumk ek aldri.
Very powerful pardoner of men [= Christ], you allow the endings of my life’s course to turn out in such a way that it pleases you, so that I will never be parted from you in glorious light, honour-minded ruler of the plain of the winds [SKY/HEAVEN > = God]; we [I] choose that for ourselves [myself].
64 Létum hróðr, þanns heitir
Harmsól, fetilkjóla
fyr hugprúða hríðar
herðendr borinn verða.
Mér biði hverr, es heyrir,
heimspenni, brag þenna,
œski-Þrór ok eirar
unnrǫðla miskunnar.
We [I] caused the praise-poem, which is called ‘Harmsól’, to be borne before strong-minded hardeners of the storm of strap-ships [SHIELDS > BATTLE > WARRIORS]. May each craving-Þrór <= Óðinn> of wave-suns [GOLD > MAN] who hears this poem, ask the world-clasper [= God] for mercy and compassion for me.
65 Án lát engan þína,
angrlestandi, mesta
mann — deilir þat máli
miskunn, jǫfurr sunnu.
Vǫrðr, laða skatna skírða,
skýtjalds, saman alla,
ítr, þars aldri þrjóti
unaðsgnótt ok frið, dróttinn.—
Let no man [be] without your very great mercy, sorrow-injuring prince of the sun [= God (= Christ)]; that is of prime importance. Glorious Lord, warden of the cloud-tent [SKY/HEAVEN > = God], invite together all baptised men, to where an abundance of happiness and peace will never end.
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