Cite as: Carolyne Larrington and Peter Robinson (eds) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Sólarljóð 39’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 322-3.
|Sól ek sá sanna dagstjörnu
drjúpa dynheimum í;
en heljar grind
| heyrða ek annan veg|
Ek sá sól, sanna dagstjörnu, drjúpa í dynheimum; en annan veg heyrða ek grind heljar þjóta þungliga.
I saw the sun, the true day-star, bow down in the noisy world; and in the other direction I heard the gate of Hell roaring weightily.
Mss: 166bˣ(47r), papp15ˣ(4v), 738ˣ(81v), 214ˣ(150v), 1441ˣ(584), 10575ˣ(6r), 2797ˣ(234)
Readings:  sanna dagstjörnu: samað at stjörnu 738ˣ  drjúpa: drúpa 2797ˣ; dynheimum í: so 738ˣ, 1441ˣ, 10575ˣ, 2797ˣ, ‘dimheimuṁ i’ or ‘dinheimum i’ 166bˣ, ‘dyrheimum i’ papp15ˣ, ‘i dynheimum’ 214ˣ  heljar grind: so 10575ˣ, 2797ˣ, helgrind 166bˣ, heljar grund papp15ˣ  heyrða: so papp15ˣ, 738ˣ, 1441ˣ, 10575ˣ, 2797ˣ, ‘hedi’ 166bˣ, heyrði 214ˣ; ek: om. 214ˣ; annan: á annan papp15ˣ, 2797ˣ
Editions: Skj: Anonyme digte og vers [XII], G . Sólarljóð 39: AI, 634, BI, 641-2, Skald I, 312; Bugge 1867, 363, Falk 1914, 19, Björn M. Ólsen 1915, 14, Fidjestøl 1979, 65, Njörður Njarðvík 1991, 70-1, Njörður Njarðvík 1993, 45, 117.
Notes: [All]: This st. is the first of a series of anaphoric sts (39-45), beginning Sól ek sá ‘I saw the sun’. The significance of the sun in these sts is disputed: Falk 1914, 22 interprets it as symbolising Christ; Björn M. Ólsen 1915, 42 sees it as the actual sun, seen with the narrator’s dying eyes. Paasche 1948, 181 argues that the sun is to be interpreted on both naturalistic and symbolic levels, an argument broadly endorsed by Fidjestøl 1979, 46. —  sanna dagstjörnu ‘true day-star’: cf. Rev. XXII.16: stella splendida et matitutina ‘the bright and morning star’. Lange 1958a, 188, 243-5 discusses the possibility of sun-worship among early Icel. settlers; see also Amory 1985, 5-8; 1990, 255-6 for extensive discussion of the sol salutis ‘the sun of salvation’ and the sol iustitiae ‘the sun of justice’ in Carolingian and later theology. —  dynheimum (dat. pl.) ‘noisy world’: As in 738ˣ, and a large number of other mss, pl. is taken for sg. here. 166bˣ’s common mark of abbreviation could be read as giving din- (dyn- ‘noise’) or dim- (dimm- ‘dark’) heimum ‘dark world’, and both are plausible readings in context. Falk, Skj B and Skald have dynheimum. Dýrheimum ‘precious world’, found in papp15ˣ and 7 other mss is also an attractive reading. —  heljar grind ‘gate of Hell’: Two late mss, 10575ˣ and 2797ˣ, have this reading, which produces a metrically regular fornyrðislag l., whereas the cpd helgrind, the reading of 166bˣ, 738ˣ, and a significant number of other mss gives a kviðuháttr l. Papp15ˣ reads heljar grund ‘the abyss of Hell’, as do 13 other mss; this is also metrically acceptable, and roaring might be more likely from an abyss than a gate. However the gates of death (portae mortis) are referred to in Job XXXVIII.17, Psalm IX.15 and the gates of Hell (portae inferi) in Matt. XVI.18. The image is also present in a pagan context, cf. nágrindr ‘corpse-gate’ Skí 35/3, Lok 63/6 and helgrindr ‘Hell-gate’ SnE 1982, 9, 47.