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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, 129-30

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

63 — Gamlkan Has 63VII

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Katrina Attwood (ed.) 2007, ‘Gamli kanóki, Harmsól 63’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 129-30.

Ér látið þau, ýta,
atferðar lok verða,
miskunnandi, minnar,
margríkr, at þér líki,
svát frá yðr í ítru
— oss kjósum þat — ljósi,
veglyndr veðra grundar
valdr, skiljumk ek aldri.

{Margríkr miskunnandi ýta}, ér látið þau lok atferðar minnar verða, at líki þér, svát ek skiljumk aldri frá yðr í ítru ljósi, {veglyndr valdr {grundar veðra}}; kjósum oss þat.

{Very powerful pardoner of men} [= Christ], you allow the endings of my life’s course to turn out in such a way that it pleases you, so that I will never be parted from you in glorious light, {honour-minded ruler {of the plain of the winds}} [SKY/HEAVEN > = God]; we [I] choose that for ourselves [myself].

Mss: B(13v), 399a-bˣ

Readings: [2] atferðar lok verða: ‘atferd[...]k[...]’ B, ‘atferdar lok ṿẹṛð(a)’(?) 399a‑bˣ    [7] veg‑: ‘v[...]’ B, ‘vegh’ 399a‑bˣ

Editions: Skj: Gamli kanóki, 2. Harmsól 63: AI, 571, BI, 564, Skald I, 274; Sveinbjörn Egilsson 1844, 33, Kempff 1867, 19, Rydberg 1907, 31, Black 1971, 296, Attwood 1996a, 237.

Notes: [1] ér ‘you’: An accent is written over the r. Sveinbjörn Egilsson (1844), who is followed by Kempff, follows the 399a-bˣ copyist in interpreting the accent as the common nasal abbreviation, producing ‘Ern’. Rydberg concurs, though he notes (1907, 31 n. 10) that Ér in Líkn 44/1 (fol 12r, l. 24) is remarkably similar to the form here. There is no doubt that Ér is the correct reading in that case. Sveinbjörn takes ern to be the nom. sg. of ern adj. ‘vigorous’, qualifying the God-kenning miskunnandi ýta in apposition with margríkr. He construes Ern miskunnandi ýta margríkr, látið þau lok verða atferðar minnar... ‘Vigorous, very powerful pardoner of men [= God (= Christ)]], you allow the endings of my life’s course to turn out...’. This edn follows Finnur Jónsson (Skj B), Black (1971, 296) and Kock (Skald) in reading Ér, the archaic form of the honorific pl. pron. (see ANG §§464, Anm. 5 and 465, Anm. 5), construed with the adjacent látið ‘you allow’ (l. 1). — [6] margríkr ‘very powerful’: LP lists no occurrence of this cpd. outside Has. Cf. 56/6 margríkr : líknar.

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