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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Gamlkan Has 29VII

Katrina Attwood (ed.) 2007, ‘Gamli kanóki, Harmsól 29’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 97-8.

Gamli kanókiHarmsól
282930

Leitt í lopt upp, dróttinn
— litu gǫrla þat vitrir —
himins fylgjandi, helgu
holdi skrýddr, af foldu.
Áðr trúir ǫld ok síðan
aldýran þik stýra,
skríngeypnandi, skepnu,
skýstalls, sælu allri.

{Fylgjandi dróttinn himins}, leitt í lopt upp af foldu, skrýddr helgu holdi; vitrir litu þat gǫrla. {{{Skýstalls} skrín} geypnandi}, ǫld trúir áðr ok síðan þik aldýran stýra allri sælu skepnu.

{Helping lord of heaven} [= Christ], you rose up into the sky from earth, clothed with holy flesh; wise men saw that clearly. {Holder {of the shrine {of the cloud-platform}}} [(lit. ‘cloud-platform’s shrine-holder’) SKY/HEAVEN > SUN > = God (= Christ)], mankind believes, before and since, that you, altogether glorious, govern all the bliss of creation.

Mss: B(12v), 399a-bˣ

Readings: [1] dróttinn: ‘drotte[...]’ B, ‘drotte(nn)’(?) 399a‑bˣ, BRydberg, ‘drotten’ BFJ    [2] vitrir: vitrar B    [3] fylgjandi: so 399a‑bˣ, ‘f[...]de’ B    [4] skrýddr: so 399a‑bˣ, ‘[...]yddr’ B    [7] ‑geypnandi: ‘‑geyp[...]e’ B, 399a‑bˣ, ‘‑gæyp[...](n)dæ’(?) BRydberg, ‘‑geyp(na)nde’(?) BFJ

Editions: Skj AI, 566, Skj BI, 555-6, Skald I, 269, NN §2111; Sveinbjörn Egilsson 1844, 22, Kempff 1867, 9, Rydberg 1907, 25, Jón Helgason 1935-6, 254, Black 1971, 213, Attwood 1996a, 229.

Notes: [1-4]: There have been various attempts to interpret this helmingr. Kempff (1867, 41) follows Sveinbjörn Egilsson (prose arrangement in 444ˣ) in taking vitrar from vitr ‘wise’. They construe this with fylgjandi (l. 3) to give the phrase fylgjandi vitrar ‘wise followers’, which Kempff interprets as a reference to the Apostles, who witnessed the Ascension. Finnur Jónsson appears to take fylgjandi as pres. part. of fylgja ‘to accompany’, adjectival in force, amplifying skrýddr in the expression skrýddr, fylgjandi helgu holdi, which he translates forklaret følgende dit hellige legeme ‘transfigured (or glorified) following your holy body’ (Skj B). As Kock (NN §2111) objects, Finnur’s meaning is elusive. Kock quotes parallels from Líkn and Lil (see following Note) in support of his reading of skrýddr helgu holdi ‘clothed with your holy flesh’ as a logical unit, and construes fylgjandi (which he translated as ‘helping’) as part of the God-kenning fylgjandi dróttinn himins ‘helping lord of heaven’. Black (1971, 213) adopts this arrangement, translating fylgjandi as ‘gracious’, an attempt to characterise the nature of Christ’s ‘help’. For uses of fylgja to mean ‘help, assist, show kindness’, which are by no means unusual, see Fritzner: fylgja. Kock’s interpretation has been followed here, although it and that in Skj B also require emendation to vitrir nom. pl. in l. 2. Jón Helgason (1935-6, 254) suggests that B’s ‘drotte…’ (l. 1) should be reconstructed dróttir nom. pl. of drótt ‘people’, which may be construed with B’s reading vitrar ‘wise’ (l. 2). This has the advantage of avoiding the need to emend in l. 2, but leaves a Christ-kenning, fylgjandi himins, where fylgjandi (pres. part.) has to function as a noun. — [3-4] skrýddr helgu holdi ‘clothed with holy flesh’: Cf. Líkn 12/3-4: skrýddi sik hjalmprýddan holdi ‘clothed himself, helmet-adorned, with flesh’. See also Lil 24/7-8. — [7-8] skýstalls skríngeypnandi ‘cloud-platform’s shrine-holder, holder of the shrine of the cloud platform [SKY/HEAVEN > SUN > = God (= Christ)]’: A similar concept lies behind the God-kennings umgeypnandi alls heims ‘holder in hand of the whole world’ in Geisl 16/7-8 and umgeypnandi allrar skepnu ‘holder in hand of all creation’ in Kálf Kátr 36/3. The concept of God’s holding creation in his hand also informs frónspennir fagrtjalda ‘clasper of the fair tents of the land’ in Has 44/5-6. The verb geypna derives from gaupn ‘hollow of the hand’ (see AEW: gaupn and Note to Mgr 2/5).

References

  1. Bibliography
  2. Skj B = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1912-15b. Den norsk-islandske skjaldedigtning. B: Rettet tekst. 2 vols. Copenhagen: Villadsen & Christensen. Rpt. 1973. Copenhagen: Rosenkilde & Bagger.
  3. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  4. NN = Kock, Ernst Albin. 1923-44. Notationes Norrœnæ: Anteckningar till Edda och skaldediktning. Lunds Universitets årsskrift new ser. 1. 28 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  5. AEW = Vries, Jan de. 1962. Altnordisches etymologisches Wörterbuch. 2nd rev. edn. Rpt. 1977. Leiden: Brill.
  6. Attwood, Katrina. 1996a. ‘The Poems of MS AM 757a 4to: An Edition and Contextual Study’. Ph.D. thesis. University of Leeds.
  7. Black, Elizabeth L. 1971. ‘Harmsól: an edition’. B. Litt. thesis. University of Oxford.
  8. Rydberg, Hugo, ed. 1907. ‘Die geistlichen Drápur und Dróttkvættfragmente des Cod. AM 757 4to.’. Ph.D. thesis. University of Lund. Copenhagen: Møller.
  9. Fritzner = Fritzner, Johan. 1883-96. Ordbog over det gamle norske sprog. 3 vols. Kristiania (Oslo): Den norske forlagsforening. 4th edn. Rpt. 1973. Oslo etc.: Universitetsforlaget.
  10. Jón Helgason. 1935-6. ‘Til skjaldedigtningen’. APS 10, 250-64.
  11. Kempff, Hjalmar, ed. 1867. Kaniken Gamles ‘Harmsól’ (Sol i Sorgen): isländskt andligt qväde från medeltiden med öfversättning och förklaringar. Uppsala: Edquist & Berglund.
  12. 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.
  13. Internal references
  14. Not published: do not cite (DplV)
  15. Kirsten Wolf (ed.) 2007, ‘Kálfr Hallsson, Kátrínardrápa 36’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 953-4.
  16. George S. Tate (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Líknarbraut 12’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 243-4.
  17. Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Drápa af Máríugrát 2’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 760-1.
  18. George S. Tate 2007, ‘(Introduction to) Anonymous, Líknarbraut’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 228-86.
  19. Martin Chase 2007, ‘(Introduction to) Anonymous, Lilja’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 544-677.
  20. Martin Chase (ed.) 2007, ‘Einarr Skúlason, Geisli 16’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 20-1.
  21. Martin Chase (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Lilja 24’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 590-1.
  22. Katrina Attwood (ed.) 2007, ‘Gamli kanóki, Harmsól 44’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 112-13.
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