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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, 77-8

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

6 — Gamlkan Has 6VII

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance

 

Cite as: Katrina Attwood (ed.) 2007, ‘Gamli kanóki, Harmsól 6’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 77-8.

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.

notes: [5-8]: There have been several attempts to interpret the second helmingr, which is a continuation of the exhortation to repentance begun in st. 5. B’s horfa overloads the h-alliteration in the l. Even so, Sveinbjörn Egilsson (1844, 15 n. 6) retains this reading. He takes horfa as gen. pl. of horfir which is not otherwise attested in poetry, but is presumably a nomen agentis from horfa ‘to look’ and would mean ‘one who looks’. Sveinbjörn understands a man-kenning horfir hljóms lǫgðis ‘spectator of the din of the sword, spectator of battle’, and glosses horfir as præliator ‘spectator, eyewitness’ (LP (1860): horfir). Apart from this, Sveinbjörn’s prose arrangement, detailed in his working notes in 444ˣ, is identical to the one presented above. Kempff (1867, 25-6) takes hætt rð ‘dangerous counsels’ (l. 5) to be the subject of horfa upp ‘to face upwards, come to light’ (cf. Fritzner: horfa). He construes þvíat hætt rð horfa á efsta dómi upp fyr allri skepnu ‘because dangerous counsels will come to light at the Last Judgement in the presence of all creation’. Kempff arranges the second cl. hver koma hljóms lǫgðis [er] ósǫgð, which he glosses hvarje strid kommer obodad ‘every battle arrives unbidden’. It seems likely that Kempff’s interpretation is influenced by S. Paul’s assertion that dies Domini sicut fur in nocte ita veniet ‘the day of the Lord shall so come, as a thief in the night’ (1 Thess. V.2), but it is unlikely that Gamli would suggest that the antagonism of God towards sinners will come unannounced. This edn follows Kock and Black in adopting Finnur Jónsson’s emendation of horfa (l. 5) to bǫrva, gen. pl. of bǫrr ‘tree’. This is a paleographically straightforward emendation, and bǫrva then forms the base-word of a man-kenning bǫrvar hljóms lǫgðis ‘trees of the sound of the sword’.

editions: Skj Gamli kanóki: 2. Harmsól 6 (AI, 563; BI, 550); Skald I, 266; Sveinbjörn Egilsson 1844, 15, Kempff 1867, 2, Rydberg 1907, 21, Black 1971, 151, Attwood 1996a, 223.

sources

AM 757 a 4° (B) 12v, 2 - 12v, 3  transcr.  image  image  image  image  
Lbs 444 4°x (444x) -  
JS 399 a-b 4°x (399a-bx) -  
AM 757 a 4° (BRydberg) -  
AM 757 a 4° (BFJ) -  
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