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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, 103-4

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

35 — Gamlkan Has 35VII

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Katrina Attwood (ed.) 2007, ‘Gamli kanóki, Harmsól 35’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 103-4.

Orð megu vǫnduð verða
víst aldrigi Kristi
— guðs an gǫrvallt œðri
gœzkufyldr — sem skyldi.
Sterk lofar drótt ok dýrkar
dagstalls konung snjallan;
himins es fylkir fremri
fróðr hvívetna góðu.

Orð megu víst aldrigi verða vǫnduð Kristi, sem skyldi; gœzkufyldr guðs œðri an gǫrvallt. Sterk drótt lofar ok dýrkar {snjallan konung {dagstalls}}; {fróðr fylkir himins} es fremri hvívetna góðu.

Words can surely never be as carefully chosen for Christ as they should be; grace-filled God is higher than everything. The mighty host praises and worships {the excellent king {of the day-support}} [SKY/HEAVEN > = God]; {the wise king of heaven} [= God] is superior to everything that is good.

Mss: B(13r), 399a-bˣ

Readings: [1] Orð: so 399a‑bˣ, ‘[...]rd’ B;    megu: ‘meg[...]’ B, mega 399a‑bˣ    [5] Sterk: ‘St[...]k’ B, ‘St(er)k’(?) 399a‑bˣ

Editions: Skj: Gamli kanóki, 2. Harmsól 35: AI, 567, BI, 557, Skald I, 270; Sveinbjörn Egilsson 1844, 24, Kempff 1867, 11, Rydberg 1907, 26, Black 1971, 229, Attwood 1996a, 230.

Notes: [1] megu ‘can’: B’s mega, as represented through 399a-bˣ, must be emended to give the correct form of the 3rd pers. pl. pres. indic. of this pret.-pres. verb. — [3-4] gœzkufyldr guðs ‘grace-filled God is’: Cf. Leið 17/3-4, where God is described as gœzkufimr ‘grace-skilled’. For the semantic field of gœzka, see Walter 1976, 69. — [5] sterk ‘strong, mighty’: B is badly worn, and only ‘St...k’ is legible. The reading here is supplied from the next occurrence of the second stef at fol. 13r, l. 19 (st. 40), where the word is written out in full. An obelos in the right margin at fol. 13r, l. 9 indicates the beginning of the poem’s second stef. — [6] konung dagstalls ‘king of the day-support [SKY/HEAVEN > = God]’: Cf. Mdr 24/3-4, where Mary is referred to as drotning dagstalls ‘queen of the day-support’, and the similar heaven-kenning hǫll dags ‘hall of day’, which occurs twice in characterisations of God in Leið: 15/5-8 (snjallr dróttinn dags hallar ‘wise lord of the day’s hall’) and 45/6 (gramr dags hallar ‘prince of the day’s hall’).

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