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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Gamlkan Has 10VII

Katrina Attwood (ed.) 2007, ‘Gamli kanóki, Harmsól 10’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 82.

Gamli kanókiHarmsól

Þinn hefir þunglig unnit
(þat fœrir mjǫk) sœri
synðugr þjónn (frá svinnu)
sóltjalds konungr (aldir).
Mæltak mart, þats spillti,
(mætr, vissir þat, gætir
ranns) í rausan minni,
(rǫðuls) fyr mér ok ǫðrum.

{Konungr {sóltjalds}}, synðugr þjónn þinn hefir unnit þunglig sœri; þat fœrir aldir mjǫk frá svinnu. Mæltak mart í rausan minni, þats spillti fyr mér ok ǫðrum; vissir þat, {mætr gætir {ranns rǫðuls}}.

{King {of the sun-tent}} [SKY/HEAVEN > = God], your sinful servant has sworn heavy oaths; that removes men a lot from good sense. I said many things in my bragging which had a corrupting effect on myself and others; you knew that, {excellent keeper {of the house of the sun}} [SKY/HEAVEN > = God].

Mss: B(12v), 399a-bˣ

Readings: [1] Þinn: so 399a‑bˣ, ‘Þí[...]’ B    [2] mjǫk: mik B

Editions: Skj AI, 551, Skj BI, 563, Skald I, 267; Sveinbjörn Egilsson 1844, 16, Kempff 1867, 3-4, Rydberg 1907, 22, Black 1971, 163, Attwood 1996a, 224.

Notes: [2] mjǫk ‘very’: Sveinbjörn Egilsson (note to 444ˣ transcript and 1844 edn) suggests emendation of B’s mik to mjǫk, which has been adopted by all subsequent eds. — [4] konungr sóltjalds ‘king of the sun-tent [SKY/HEAVEN > = God]’: Cf. 14/6-8 and the God-kenning stillir sóltjalda ‘regulator of the sun-tents’ in Arn Rǫgndr 3/1-2III. The heaven-kenning may derive its inspiration from Ps. XVIII.6: in sole posuit tabernaculum suum ‘he hath set his tabernacle in the sun’.


  1. Bibliography
  2. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  3. Attwood, Katrina. 1996a. ‘The Poems of MS AM 757a 4to: An Edition and Contextual Study’. Ph.D. thesis. University of Leeds.
  4. Black, Elizabeth L. 1971. ‘Harmsól: an edition’. B. Litt. thesis. University of Oxford.
  5. Rydberg, Hugo, ed. 1907. ‘Die geistlichen Drápur und Dróttkvættfragmente des Cod. AM 757 4to.’. Ph.D. thesis. University of Lund. Copenhagen: Møller.
  6. Kempff, Hjalmar, ed. 1867. Kaniken Gamles ‘Harmsól’ (Sol i Sorgen): isländskt andligt qväde från medeltiden med öfversättning och förklaringar. Uppsala: Edquist & Berglund.
  7. Sveinbjörn Egilsson, ed. 1844. Fjøgur gømul kvæði. Boðsrit til að hlusta á þá opinberu yfirheyrslu í Bessastaða Skóla þann 22-29 mai 1844. Viðeyar Klaustri: prentuð af Helga Helgasyni, á kostnað Bessastaða Skóla. Bessastaðir: Helgi Helgason.
  8. Internal references
  9. Diana Whaley (ed.) 2009, ‘Arnórr jarlaskáld Þórðarson, Rǫgnvaldsdrápa 3’ in Kari Ellen Gade (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 2: From c. 1035 to c. 1300. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 2. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 181.

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