This interface will soon cease to be publicly available. Use the new interface instead. Click here to switch over now.

Cookies on our website

We use cookies on this website, mainly to provide a secure browsing experience but also to collect statistics on how the website is used. You can find out more about the cookies we set, the information we store and how we use it on the cookies page.

Data from Samnordisk runtextdatabas

login: password: stay logged in: help

Gamli kanóki (Gamlkan)

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

1. Harmsól (Has) - 65

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.

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

Harmsól (‘Sun of Sorrow’) — Gamlkan HasVII

Katrina Attwood 2007, ‘ 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. <> (accessed 27 November 2021)

stanzas:  1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   11   12   13   14   15   16   17   18   19   20   21   22   23   24   25   26   27   28   29   30   31   32   33   34   35   36   37   38   39   40   41   42   43   44   45   46   47   48   49   50   51   52   53   54   55   56   57   58   59   60   61   62   63   64   65 

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

SkP info: VII, 75-6

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

3 — Gamlkan Has 3VII

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Katrina Attwood (ed.) 2007, ‘Gamli kanóki, Harmsól 3’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 75-6.

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 þú mér hreinan anda yðvarn, {einskepjandi landa}, þanns of fœri heðan munar grand mitt. Alls ekki megu {þollar {viggs súða}} fremja þess án hônum, es siðabót hljótisk seggjum af því.

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.

Mss: B(12r), 399a-bˣ

Readings: [3] ri: ‘fę[...]e’ B, ‘ferị’ 399a‑bˣ, ‘fæ(ræ)’(?) BRydberg, ‘fe᷎re’ BFJ    [5] megu: so all others, ‘meg[...]’ B

Editions: Skj: Gamli kanóki, 2. Harmsól 3: AI, 562, BI, 549, Skald I, 266, NN §2926; Sveinbjörn Egilsson 1844, 14, Kempff 1867, 1, Rydberg 1907, 20, Jón Helgason 1935-6, 253, Black 1971, 140, Attwood 1996a, 222.

Notes: [5] án hônum ‘without it [lit. him]’: The reference is to the Holy Spirit (heilagr andi). In MIcel, the prep. án is invariably followed by the gen. Constructions with both acc. and dat. were permissible in ON (see ONP: án, ón). It is possible, as Kempff (1867, 24) suggests, that the aðalhending was not without influence in the choice of case here. — [7] þollar viggs súða ‘trees of the steed of planking [SHIP > SEAFARERS]’: Súð f. (here in gen. pl. súða) is a term for the overlapping planks that form the hull of a clinker-built ship (Jesch 2001a, 139-40). Although the word occurs several times as a heiti for ‘ship’ (see LP: súð), this is its only occurrence as part of a ship-kenning. Jón Helgason (1935-6, 253), presumably influenced by the uniqueness of the kenning and its apparent tautology, objected to Finnur Jónsson’s transcription of B in Skj A: ‘The first word is written suda in the manuscript, and there is a hole over the u. The possibility that what was there was sūda = sunda must thus be considered’. Kock (NN §2926) and Black (1971, 340 and 141) adopt this suggestion and emend to sunda gen. sg. of sund ‘a body of water’, taking the kenning to be þollar viggs sunda ‘trees of the steed of the water’. Although there is indeed a hole in B, it is considerably above and to the left of súða, and does not interfere with the text at this point. It is not conceivable that a nasal stroke, which would be expected to sit very close to the letter and extend over its full width, has been lost here. B’s súða is therefore retained in this edn.

Runic data from Samnordisk runtextdatabas, Uppsala universitet, unless otherwise stated