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Runic Dictionary

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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.

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

Harmsól (‘Sun of Sorrow’) — Gamlkan HasVII

Katrina Attwood 2007, ‘(Introduction to) 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.

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, 109-10

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

42 — Gamlkan Has 42VII

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance

 

Cite as: Katrina Attwood (ed.) 2007, ‘Gamli kanóki, Harmsól 42’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 109-10.

Ungr skyldi þat ǫldu
eyktemjandi fremja,
gífrs es gǫmlum hœfir
gunntjalds boða at halda.
Trauð verðr hǫnd, en hlýða
hrynvengis engum
Gaut, nema gǫr verk bœti,
grundar mens, af venju.

 

{A young tamer {of the horse of the wave}} [(lit. ‘horse-tamer of the wave’) SHIP > SEAFARER] should do what it befits {an old messenger {of the troll-wife {of the battle-tent}}} [SHIELD > AXE > WARRIOR] to keep doing. The hand becomes unwilling, but {no Gautr {of the ringing-land {of the necklace of the earth}}} [= Miðgarðsormr > GOLD > MAN] may be saved, unless he makes reparation for deeds done out of habit.

notes: Gamli’s injunction to his younger hearers recalls his confession of his own early sins in st. 7. The tone is reminiscent of Solomon’s advice to his son in Eccl. XII.1 memento creatoris tui in diebis iuventutis tuae antequam veniat tempus adflictionis et adpropinquent anni de quibus dicas non mihi placent ‘remember thy Creator in the days of thy youth, before the time of affliction come, and the years draw nigh of which thou shalt say: They please me not’.

editions: Skj Gamli kanóki: 2. Harmsól 42 (AI, 568; BI, 559); Skald I, 271; Sveinbjörn Egilsson 1844, 26, Kempff 1867, 13, Rydberg 1907, 27, Black 1971, 244, Attwood 1996a, 232.

sources

AM 757 a 4° (B) 13r, 21 - 13r, 23  transcr.  image  image  image  image  
Lbs 444 4°x (444x) -  
JS 399 a-b 4°x (399a-bx) -  
AM 757 a 4° (BRydberg) -  
AM 757 a 4° (BFJ) -  
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