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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 4 December 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, 76

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

4 — Gamlkan Has 4VII

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Katrina Attwood (ed.) 2007, ‘Gamli kanóki, Harmsól 4’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 76.

Mér vil ek ok eirar
— oss byrjar þat — hnossa
himins stillandi hollrar
hæstr miskunnar æsta,
þótt óverðum orðum,
ítr fylkir, mik lítir
víst fyr vás ok lǫstu,
veðrhallar, þik kveðja.

Ek vil æsta mér hollrar miskunnar ok eirar, {hæstr stillandi {hnossa himins}} — þat byrjar oss —, þótt lítir mik, {ítr fylkir {veðrhallar}}, kveðja þik óverðum orðum, víst fyr vás ok lǫstu.

I wish to ask on my own behalf for wholesome grace and clemency, {highest regulator {of the ornaments of heaven}} [HEAVENLY BODIES > = God] — that is fitting for us [me] —, though you see me, {glorious king {of the storm-hall}} [SKY/HEAVEN > = God], call on you with unworthy words, surely because of sinfulness and flaws.

Mss: B(12r), 399a-bˣ

Readings: [4] hæstr: ‘he᷎st’ all    [6] fylkir: so 399a‑bˣ, BFJ, ‘[...]lker’ B, (fý)lkir(?) BRydberg;    lítir: líta B    [7] fyr: so 399a‑bˣ, BRydberg, BFJ, ‘[...]r’ B;    vás: ‘[...]os’ B, ‘vos’ 399a‑bˣ, ‘(v)os’(?) BRydberg, BFJ    [8] kveðja: so 399a‑bˣ, ‘kue[...]ia’ B, ‘kue(d)ia’(?) BRydberg, BFJ

Editions: Skj: Gamli kanóki, 2. Harmsól 4: AI, 562, BI, 549, Skald I, 266, NN §§2926, 2927; Sveinbjörn Egilsson 1844, 14, Kempff 1867, 2, Rydberg 1907, 20-1, Black 1971, 134, Attwood 1996a, 222.

Notes: [2-4]: Finnur Jónsson (Skj B) understands hnossa hollrar miskunnar ‘ornaments of wholesome mercy’ as the object of the verb æsta, which takes the gen. of the thing requested (l. 4), and he translates din kendte miskundheds goder ‘the benefits of your well-known mercy’. Jón Helgason (1935-6, 252), anticipated by Kempff (1867, 24) takes hnossa ‘ornaments’ to be part of the God-kenning stillandi hnossa himins ‘regulator of the ornaments of heaven’. This recalls the God-kenning harri fagrgims hás hreggranns ‘king of the fair jewel of the high storm-house [SKY/HEAVEN > SUN > = God]’ in Leið 2/1-4. This arrangement is adopted by Kock (NN §2927) and Black (1971, 144). In NN §2803, Kock suggests the arrangement hollrar miskunnar ok hnossa eirar ‘of wholesome mercy and treasures of clemency’, which he rejects in §2927. — [4] hæstr ‘highest’: Sveinbjörn Egilsson (note in 444ˣ) suggests that B drops the final ‘r’ for the sake of euphony. He corrects to hæstr, m. sg. nom. of the sup. of hár (adj.) ‘high’. This emendation has been adopted by all subsequent eds. — [7] víst fyr vás ok lǫstu: Cf. Anon Líkn 12/7: víst fyr vára lǫstu ‘surely on account of our flaws’.

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