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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Gamlkan Has 65VII

Katrina Attwood (ed.) 2007, ‘Gamli kanóki, Harmsól 65’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 131-2.

Gamli kanókiHarmsól

text and translation

Án lát engan þína,
angrlestandi, mesta
mann — deilir þat máli
miskunn, jǫfurr sunnu.
Vǫrðr, laða skatna skírða,
skýtjalds, saman alla,
ítr, þars aldri þrjóti
unaðsgnótt ok frið, dróttinn.—

Lát engan mann án mesta miskunn þína, {angrlestandi jǫfurr sunnu}; þat deilir máli. Ítr dróttinn, {vǫrðr {skýtjalds}}, laða saman alla skírða skatna, þars aldri þrjóti unaðsgnótt ok frið.
‘Let no man [be] without your very great mercy, sorrow-injuring prince of the sun [= God (= Christ)]; that is of prime importance. Glorious Lord, warden of the cloud-tent [SKY/HEAVEN > = God], invite together all baptised men, to where an abundance of happiness and peace will never end.

notes and context

[2-3]: Jón Helgason (1935-6, 262) expands B’s ‘mn’ (l. 3) to menn (acc. pl.) and assumes the intercalated phrase to be þat deilir menn mestu máli, taking þat deilir máli to mean ‘that settles the case, is of importance’. This requires emendation of the ms.’s mesta to mestu ‘great’, to agree with máli dat. sg. Although the intercalated phrase often encompasses the third l. of a helmingr in its entirety (as at 8/3, 17/3, 22/3 and 35/3), it does not always do so (cf., e.g., 61/3). The ms. reading mesta may be preserved here by taking it as qualifying miskunn ‘mercy’ (l. 4) and, in agreement with Sveinbjörn Egilsson, Finnur Jónsson and Black, expanding ‘mn’ to mann, and construing this as part of the main cl.



Text is based on reconstruction from the base text and variant apparatus and may contain alternative spellings and other normalisations not visible in the manuscript text. Transcriptions may not have been checked and should not be cited.

editions and texts

Skj: Gamli kanóki, 2. Harmsól 65: AI, 572, BI, 565, Skald I, 274; Sveinbjörn Egilsson 1844, 34, Kempff 1867, 20, Konráð Gíslason 1897, 253-4, Rydberg 1907, 32, Jón Helgason 1935-6, 262, Black 1971, 301, Attwood 1996a, 238.


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