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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

7. Gamli kanóki, 1. Harmsól, 9 [Vol. 7, 81-2]

[1-4] gerðak opt í gǫgn þér í orðum, sem verkum ok hyggju ‘I often acted against you in words, as in deeds and thought’: Confession of sins in thought, word and deed is an article of the Confiteor: Confiteor Deo omnipotenti … quia peccavi nimis cogitatione, verbo et opera, mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa ‘I confess to almighty God … that I have sinned exceedingly in thought, word and deed, through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault’ (Lefebure 1924, 7). Gamli’s re-ordering of the articles of confession, which is required by the alliterative demands of his st., informs the subject-matter of the three following sts: in st. 10, he confesses to swearing oaths, a sin ‘in word’, st. 11 concerns his sins ‘in deed’, and st. 12 his sinful thoughts, which rendered him technically unfit to take part in the Eucharist.


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