Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Gamli kanóki (Gamlkan)

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

1. Harmsól (Has) - 65

Skj info: Gamli kanóki, Islandsk gejstlig og skjald, 12. årh. (AI, 561-72, BI, 547-65).

Skj poems:
1. Jóansdrápa
2. Harmsól

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.

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

SkP info: VII, 113

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

45 — Gamlkan Has 45VII

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance

 

Cite as: Katrina Attwood (ed.) 2007, ‘Gamli kanóki, Harmsól 45’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 113.

Háborgar, fæsk hvergi
hald, þats bresti aldri,
hreggs nema horskum seggjum
heitfastr jǫfurr veiti.
Sterk lofar drótt ok dýrkar
dagstalls konung snjallan;
himins es fylkir fremri
fróðr hvívetna góðu.

Hvergi fæsk hald, þats aldri bresti, nema {heitfastr jǫfurr {háborgar hreggs}} veiti horskum seggjum. Sterk drótt lofar ok dýrkar {snjallan konung {dagstalls}}; {fróðr fylkir himins} es fremri hvívetna góðu.

Nowhere is found that help which never fails, unless {the promise-faithful prince {of the high fortress of the storm}} [SKY/HEAVEN > = God] may grant [it] to prudent men. The mighty host praises and glorifies {the glorious king {of the day-support}} [SKY/HEAVEN > = God]; {the excellent king of heaven} [= God] is superior to everything that is good.

Mss: B(13r), 399a-bˣ

Readings: [4] veiti: so 399a‑bˣ, ‘[...](e)ite’(?) B    [5] Sterk lofar drótt: abbrev. as ‘Sterk lofar drott ok d.’ B

Editions: Skj: Gamli kanóki, 2. Harmsól 45: AI, 568, BI, 560, Skald I, 271, NN §1206; Sveinbjörn Egilsson 1844, 27-8, Kempff 1867, 13-14, Rydberg 1907, 28, Black 1971, 252, Attwood 1996a, 233.

Notes: [1-4] jǫfurr háborgar hreggs ‘prince of the high fortress of the storm [SKY/HEAVEN > = God]’: God-kennings involving the adj. hár ‘high’ in conjunction with a heaven-kenning meaning ‘abode of the weather’, where the ‘weather’ element is supplied by hregg ‘storm’ occur in both Has and Leið. Cf. the opening of Has, where God is hailed as hár stillir hreggtjalda ‘high ruler of the storm-tents’ (1/1-2) and jǫfurr hás hreggranns ‘prince of the high storm-house’ (Leið 17/1-2), a more complicated version of which occurs in 2/1-3: harri hás hreggranns fagrgims ‘king of the high stormhouse of the fair jewel’. — [3] horskum seggjum ‘to prudent men’: Kock (NN §§224, 1206) notes that this phrase may be construed as belonging to either cl. in the first helmingr, giving either the arrangement adopted here, or that adopted by Finnur Jónsson (Skj B): hvergi fæsk hald horskum seggjum, þats aldri bresti ‘nowhere is found help for prudent men which never fails’. — [5-8]: The third and final instance of stef 2.

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