Cite as: Carolyne Larrington and Peter Robinson (eds) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Sólarljóð 42’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 324-5.
|Sól ek sá; svá hon geislaði,
at ek þóttumz vætki vita;
en gylfar straumar
| grenjuðu annan veg|
blandnir mjök við blóð.
Ek sá sól; hon geislaði svá at ek þóttumz vita vætki; en straumar gylfar grenjuðu annan veg, blandnir mjök við blóð.
I saw the sun; it dazzled so much that I seemed to know nothing; but the currents of the sea roared in the other direction, greatly mingled with blood.
Mss: 166bˣ(47r), papp15ˣ(4v), 738ˣ(81v), 214ˣ(150v), 1441ˣ(584), 10575ˣ(6v), 2797ˣ(234)
Readings:  gylfar: gilnar papp15ˣ, gylfu 1441ˣ  grenjuðu: grenjuði 10575ˣ; annan: á annan 738ˣ, 1441ˣ, 2797ˣ  blandnir: blandaðir papp15ˣ, blandnar 738ˣ; mjök: om. 214ˣ
Editions: Skj: Anonyme digte og vers [XII], G . Sólarljóð 42: AI, 634, BI, 642, Skald I, 312; Bugge 1867, 363, Falk 1914, 19, Björn M. Ólsen 1915, 15, Fidjestøl 1979, 65, Njörður Njarðvík 1991, 72-3, Njörður Njarðvík 1993, 48, 119.
Notes:  þóttumz ‘I seemed’: Lit. ‘I seemed (to myself)’; the phrase probably implies that the speaker loses consciousness, cf. Njörður Njarðvík (1991, 73). —  gylfar ‘of the sea’: This word occurs only here in OIcel. and does not exist in MIcel. Bugge (1867, 364), though he adduces ON gjálfr ‘the sound of the sea’ and by extension ‘sea’ (LP: gjálfr), reads Gylfar as a gen. pers. n., derived from *Gylfr, meaning ‘gulf, body of water’. However, there is no such word recorded in ON. Falk (1914, 26) relates it to a Norw. dialect word he gives as gyl ‘mountain-cleft’, cf. OED: gill n.2, noting that the entrance to the ON underworld is sometimes envisaged as a headland (Egill St 25V; Fáfn 11/2) and linking a water-filled cleft to the vötn fjalla ‘mountain waters’ of 45/4. LP: Gylfr (?), f. (?) notes the obscurity of the word’s form and meaning. Skj B, as also Skald, gives Gilfar, a pers. n., apparently derived from *Gylfr. Björn M. Ólsen (1915, 43) emends to Gylfa, from Gylfi, a sea-king name, and thus interprets Gylfa straumar ‘the currents of Gylfi’ as a kenning for the sea. It seems likely that the word does have some association with the sea (cf. AEW: Gylfi, which cites gylfr, f. a river name, also ‘wave, sea’ as cognate); whether it is a common noun or a pers. n. is uncertain.