Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

7. Gamli kanóki, 1. Harmsól, 53 [Vol. 7, 120-1]

[7] glaðr ‘glad’: The beginning of this word is lost, though the two final letters are quite clear. The alliteration requires initial <g>. Previous eds have tended to agree that glaðr is the most acceptable reconstruction. Finnur Jónsson (Skj B) construes this as part of the conditional cl. ef iðrumk glaðr glœpa ‘if I repent of my sins gladly’. Jón Helgason (1935-6, 260) objects that ‘it hardly accords with the sincerity of the penitent soul that the sinner should be glad’. He suggests that greiðr ‘willing’ would be a more appropriate adj. here. Kock (NN §2934) is not altogether convinced by this suggestion, but accepts that, if glaðr is understood to refer to the speaker-sinner, it strikes a wrong note. As Black (1971, 272) points out, there is some appropriateness in the suggestion that sinners should repent cheerfully, in the expectation of mercy. Kock suggests that glaðr be retained, but that it be construed as part of the main cl., rather than the conditional one. In this, he is anticipated by Sveinbjörn Egilsson’s prose arrangement in 444ˣ, which is adopted here.


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