Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Kálfr Hallsson (Kálf)

14th century; volume 7; ed. Kirsten Wolf;

Kátrínardrápa (Kátr) - 51

not in Skj

The name of the poet of Kátrínardrápa can be deduced from sts 1, 49 and 51 as Kálfr Hallsson (Kálfr would have been Kálfur in C14th). In st. 1/8 he describes himself as ‘the son of Hallur’ (arfi Halls) and at the end of the poem gives his name in both Icelandic (Kálfr [= ‘calf’] 49/1) and Lat. (Vitulus [= Kálfur] 51/3) and says he is now a monk (frater, st. 51/4). The implication of sts 45-51 is that Kálfr had previously led a sinful secular life, but this may be stereotypical self-deprecation. The Lat. phrase Vítulus vátes ‘the poet Kálfr’ by which the poet refers to himself in st. 51/3-4 also appears in Völsungs rímur hins óborna and this has led some scholars to propose that Kálfr Hallsson was the author of both poems (see Note to st. 51). Nothing is known of Kálfr’s monastic affiliation nor his precise dates, though the mid-C14th seems a likely floruit (Vésteinn Ólason 1993, 316).

Kátrínardrápa (‘Drápa about S. Catherine’) — Kálf KátrVII

Kirsten Wolf 2007, ‘(Introduction to) Kálfr Hallsson, Kátrínardrápa’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 931-64.

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Skj: [Anonyme digte og vers XIV]: [B. 11]. Katrínar drápa (AII, 516-26, BII, 569-82)

SkP info: VII, 931-64

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance references search files

 

1 Drottinn, gief þú, dýrr, að eg mætta
dæmistóls, í hróðri sæma
alhreinasta ambátt þína,
Jésús Kristr, af mærðar húsi.
Þar næst beiði * milda móður
mána þeingils frægs og eingla
eg nú hljóðs, að oss skuli mýkja
arfa Halls, svá stirðni valla.
Glorious Lord of the judgement seat [= God (= Christ)], Jesus Christ, grant that I might honour your very purest handmaid in praise from the house of encomium [MOUTH]. After that I now ask the gentle mother of the famous king of the moon [= God (= Christ) > = Mary] and the angels for a hearing, that they will make it easier for us [me], the heir of Hallur, so that it hardly becomes difficult.
2 Orð temi mier, sá er skjöldung skírði
skýja tjalls, og spámenn allir,
prófetar Krists og postular mæstir
pínuð drótt með eldi og sóttum.
Frægar, bið eg, að mier ljái meyjar
mælsku gnótt, þá er efldi dróttinn;
öll sveit styrki eingla stillis
* óðsemjanda drápu að fremja.
Guide my words, he who baptised the king of the tent of the clouds [SKY/HEAVEN > = God (= Christ)] and all soothsayers, Christ’s prophets and greatest Apostles, people tormented by fire and illness. I ask that famous maidens lend me an abundance of eloquence, which the Lord strengthened; may the entire host of the ruler’s angels assist the composer of poetry in completing a drápa.
3 ... drápu að fremja
drottinn lýðs, er guðs son þýðiz;
inna skal þá elda spennir
eyja hrings frá helgri meyju.
Kátrín, frá eg, að kóngs jóð hieti
kostum prýdd, en góð verk þýddiz;
veglig jungfrú var hun og tígin
vitr og fróð að öllu góðu.
Lord of people [= God], who is explained as God’s son [= Christ], ... to complete a drápa; then the clasper of the fires of the ring of islands [SEA > GOLD > MAN = Kálfur Hallson (= I)] shall tell of a holy maiden. I heard that a king’s daughter was named Catherine, endowed with virtues, and she performed good deeds; she was a noble maiden and high-born, wise and knowledgeable about all good things.
4 Kæna setti Kosti dóttur
(kunni hun ung að mæla tungur
allar þær) til bóknáms báru
Baldur eims (er geingu í heimi).
Ástargjörn hefir allar listir
ambátt himna drottins framdar;
fegri var sjá en flestar meyjar
falda Þrúðr og hátta prúðust.
The Baldur <god> of the fire of the wave [GOLD > MAN] set Kostus’s skilful daughter [= Catherine] to book-learning; at a young age she could speak all the languages that were current in the world. The loving handmaid of the Lord of the heavens [= God > HOLY WOMAN] has performed all arts; that Þrúðr <goddess> of headdresses [WOMAN] was more beautiful than most maidens and the best mannered.
5 Alexandría hiet borg, sú er brendra
bauga Hlín með frændum sínum
stödd var í, þá er margar mæddu
mótgjörðirnar líkam snótar.
Odda flaums rieð öllum heimi
— eg nefni svá keisarann — stefnir,
Maxencíus liet meizlur vinna,
Máríu sonar er þrælar váru.
Alexandria was the name of the city, in which the Hlín <goddess> of burnished rings [WOMAN] lived with her relatives, when the many assaults tormented the body of the woman. The summoner of the stream of spear points [BATTLE > WARRIOR] ruled over the whole world — by this I mean the emperor — Maxentius had [those] undergo mutilation, who were the servants of the son of Mary [= Christ > CHRISTIAN PEOPLE].
6 Blótin vildi bragningr láta
beldinn efla í sínu veldi
hvern þann brjót, er af honum girniz
heiðr að þiggja, orma leiðar.
Afarkostum liet ýtendr rastar
alla sæta skeljungs fjalla
glæstrar rekkju, ef gjöra ei treystaz,
glóða hreytir, Þór eða Óðni.
The arrogant prince wanted to let every breaker of the serpent’s path [GOLD > GENEROUS MAN], who desires to obtain honour from him, strengthen the sacrifices in his country. The distributer of red-hot embers of the current [GOLD > GENEROUS MAN] let all the offerers of the shining bed of the whale of the mountains [SNAKE > GOLD > GENEROUS MEN] be exposed to hard conditions, if they did not trust Þórr or Óðinn.
7 Mærin giekk fyr málma skýran
mæt fremjanda spekt að temja;
heilög gjörði hilmi skorða
hrannar báls að kveðja þannveg.
‘Dýrka þú aldri djöful með verki,
döglings niðr, eða bænum fögrum;
liettu að blóta lýða ættir,
laga greinir’, kvað mærin hreina.
The worthy maiden went before the clever promoter of weapons [WARRIOR] to practise her wisdom; the holy prop of the fire of the wave [GOLD > WOMAN] prepared to address the king thus: ‘Never worship, king’s son, the devil with deeds or beautiful prayers; make families of people stop sacrificing, elucidator of laws [RULER]’, said the pure maiden.
8 ‘Undraz þarftu ei hofið með höndum’,
heilög mær talar slíkt við deili,
‘heldur líttu á himin og öldu’,
hrannar báls, ‘og sól, gjört manna.
Þjóðar, hygg þú að þessu smíði
þeingils, fylkir, helgra eingla;
mildingr skrýddi mána foldar
mannligu holdi guðdóm sannan.
The holy maiden speaks thus to the distributor of the fire of the wave [GOLD > GENEROUS MAN], ‘You need not admire the temple made by the hands of men, rather look at the sky and wave and sun. King of people, consider this work of the king of holy angels [= God]; the prince of the land of the moon [SKY/HEAVEN > = God] adorned the true Godhead with human flesh.
9 ‘Segi eg þier, að frá Máríu meyju
mildingr frægur beraz liet hingað;
tel eg, að svá liet tiggi sólar
tírargjarn í Jórdán skíraz.
Sjálfráður á sig tók dauða
* sára písl fyr glæpi vára;
týndr var heimr af tálum fjanda;
treystir fekk hann guðdóms leystan.
‘I say to you that the famous king let himself be born hither from the Virgin Mary; I tell that the fame-desirous king of the sun [= God (= Christ)] then let himself be baptised in the Jordan. At his own choice he took upon himself death, a painful torment for our misdeeds; the world was lost by the deceits of the devil; the occupier of the Godhead [= God (= Christ)] managed to release it.
10 ‘Jésús Kristr er drottinn drottna;
dýrka þú hann’, kvað falda Nanna,
‘föður og son bið frá þier leiða
fjandans tál og helgan anda.
Skíraz láttu, skatna stýrir’,
skorð mælti það vizku borða,
‘leyndar skaltu lýsa syndir
lærðri sveit en kasta flærðum’.
‘Jesus Christ is the Lord of Lords, worship him’ spoke the Nanna <goddess> of headdresses [WOMAN], ‘ask the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit to remove from you the devil’s deceit. Let yourself be baptised, ruler of men [KING]’, this the prop of embroidery [WOMAN] spoke with wisdom, ‘you must proclaim hidden sins to the learned host and cast off falsehood’.
11 Stillir frietti hljóði hvellu
hafnar glóða eik að nafni;
fljóðið gjörði að birta bæði
baugs veitanda ætt og heiti.
Síðan spurði siklingr Þrúði
sævar bála sneldr í máli:
‘hvárt ætlar þú, hranna kertis,
hilmi, skorð, að sigra orðum?
The ruler asked the oak of the red-hot embers of the harbour [GOLD > WOMAN] in a shrill voice for her name; the woman was prepared to reveal to the giver of the ring [GENEROUS MAN] both her heritage and her name. Subsequently, the king asked the Þrúðr <goddess> of the fires of the sea [GOLD > WOMAN] harsh in his speech: ‘do you intend, prop of the candle of the waves [GOLD > WOMAN], to win victory over the prince with words?
12 ‘Einráðið hefi eg, að orðum þínum
ekki trúi eg nie mínir rekkar’;
þannig mælti hvítra hjalta
hristir reiðr við fljóðið kristið.
Fimm tigu valdi fróðra hölda
fannar lófa spekt að prófa
eigandi við ambátt fræga
eingla dýrðarþeingils.
‘I have resolved that neither I nor my men will believe your words’; thus spoke the angry shaker of shining hilts [WARRIOR] to the Christian woman. The owner of the snowdrift of the palm [SILVER > MAN] chose fifty wise men to compete in wisdom with the famous handmaid of the king of the glory of angels [= God (= Christ) > HOLY WOMAN].
13 Heilög rödd tók hátt að mæla
harðla dýr við meyna skýra:
‘Kátrín, vit þú, að guðdóms gætir
gistir bjartr í þínu hjarta.
… Hörn hin bezta,
heiðna spekinga, orma leiðar;
unnar leið þú elda Nanna
alla þá til minnar hallar’.
A holy voice, very precious, began to speak loudly to the bright maiden: ‘Catherine, know that the guardian of the Godhead [= God] resides bright in your heart. … the best Hörn <goddess> of the path of serpents [GOLD > WOMAN], the heathen sages; lead them all, Nanna <goddess> of the fires of the wave [GOLD > WOMAN], to my hall’.
14 Meistarliga vann mentir leystar
mærin glödd af himna röddu
allar þær, er öflgir þollar
öglis stiettar hána friettu.
Spektarlauss bað spekinga þessa
spennir málms í eldi brenna,
riettvís mærin — ræsir þótti
reiðuligr — þann hvern, er sigrar.
The maiden, gladdened by the voice from the heavens, masterfully gave answers to all of the learned questions, which the strong fir-trees of the snake’s path [GOLD > MEN] asked her. The unwise clasper of metal [MAN = Maxentius] requested that each of these sages, over whom the righteous maiden wins victory, should be burned in a fire; the king seemed angry.
15 Vitrir báðu vella Þrúði
vargfæðendur þá að bjarga
sál og önd við svælum fjanda:
‘sætt* oss við guð Jákóbs ættar’.
Kátrín tjáði Krists fyr lýðum
kraftaverk og dýrðir sterkar;
eigendr tóku iðran fagra
öglis túns af dæmum fögrum.
The wise wolf-feeders [WARRIORS] asked the Þrúðr <goddess> of gold [WOMAN] then to save their souls and spirits from the devil’s smoke: ‘reconcile us with the god of Jacob’s tribe’. Catherine explained to the people Christ’s miracles and strong glories; the owners of the snake’s dwelling [GOLD > MEN] made a beautiful repentance as a result of the beautiful examples.
16 Bragnar lietu í báli heitu
blessað líf, en fór* með vífi
lík heilög í láði að hylja
lýða sveit með allri prýði.
Hárið kunni ei heldr að brenna
hrannar bliks á viðum en annað;
ýtendr lofuðu eingla gæti
öldu fress af tákni þessu.
The men lost their blessed life in the hot fire, but a host of people went with the woman to cover in earth the holy bodies with all pomp. Neither the hair nor anything else could burn on the woods of the gleam of the wave [GOLD > MEN]; the launchers of the bear of the wave [SHIP > SEAFARERS] praised the guardian of angels [= God] for this miracle.
17 Heyr þú, blessaðr himna dýrðar
— heita skal eg nú á þig — veitir;
græðari minn og guðdóms spennir,
gief mier viðkvæmilig orð til stefja.
Stendr og sitr til hægri handar
heilög Máría aldar deili;
mildingr skipar nú mána foldar
mæstr Kátrínu henni hið næsta.
Listen, blessed provider of the glory of the heavens [= God], I shall now call upon you; my Saviour and clasper of the Godhead [= God], give me words suitable for a refrain. Holy Mary stands and sits at the right hand of the ruler of people [= God]; the greatest prince of the land of the moon [SKY/HEAVEN > = God] now places Catherine next to her.
18 Hilmir, segi eg, að hugðiz tæla
himna gætis ambátt mæta;
mýgir bauðz þá fljóði fögru
fannar lófa að eiginmanni.
‘Allir skulu’, kvað odda spillir,
‘elda Lofn, í mínu veldi
heiðra þig sem helga gyðju,
hnyssings teigs, ef mig vill eiga’.
I say that the prince intended to entice the great handmaid of the guardian of the heavens [= God > HOLY WOMAN]; the crusher of the snowdrift of the palm [SILVER > GENEROUS MAN] then offered himself to the beautiful maiden as husband. ‘All in my realm’, said the destroyer of swords’ points [WARRIOR] ‘shall honour you, Lofn <goddess> of the fires of the whale’s land [SEA > GOLD > WOMAN], as a holy goddess, if you will marry me’.
19 Kátrín sagðiz kóngi heitin
kraftafull, þeim er alt gott skafti;
öllum neitti ófnis palla
orðum fylkis heilög skorða.
Reiðir skipaði geima glóða
græðara heims að fletta klæðum
fyrðum sínum fast að berja
falda strönd og kvelja í böndum.
Full of strength Catherine said that she was betrothed to that king who created all good things; the holy prop of the benches of the serpent [GOLD > WOMAN] said no to all the words of the king. The spreader of red-hot embers of the sea [GOLD > GENEROUS MAN] commanded his men to strip the beach of the headdress of the Saviour of the world [= God (= Christ) > HOLY WOMAN] of her clothes, beat her hard, and torture her in fetters.
20 Berja frá eg staungum stórum
stillis rekka ljótrar villu
milda ambátt mána foldar
mildings frægs og vöndum gildum.
Blóðið flaut af búki hvítum
bragnings meyjar sólar vagna;
síðan byrgðu seggir heiðnir
svanna guðs í myrku ranni.
I heard that the men of the ruler in ugly delusion hit the gentle handmaid of the famous prince of the land of the moon [SKY/HEAVEN > = God > HOLY WOMAN] with large sticks and thick rods. The blood poured from the white body of the maiden of the prince of the wagons of the sun [SKY/HEAVEN > = God > HOLY WOMAN]; subsequently, heathen men locked the woman of God in a dark house.
21 Drottinn sæll rieð dregla þellu
dæmistóls með táknum sæma;
fæddiz henni ei fyrr nie síðar
fróðari mær nema drottins móðir.
Stendr og sitr til hægri handar
heilög Máría aldar deili;
mildingr skipar nú mána foldar
mæstr Kátrínu henni hið næsta.
The blessed Lord of the judgement seat [= God] decided to honour the young pine of ribbons [WOMAN] with miracles; neither before nor since has a more knowledgeable maiden than she been born, except the Lord’s mother [= Mary]. Holy Mary stands and sits at the right hand of the ruler of people [= God]; the greatest prince of the land of the moon [SKY/HEAVEN > = God] now places Catherine next to her.
22 Keisarans tók kvón að fýsaz
Kátrínu að tjá iðran sína;
bragnar vísa að byrgðu húsi
bauga Hlökk á grímu dökkri.
Brekku frá eg með brjósti klökku
beygja svá fyr helgri meyju
— háleit var það henni sæla —
himna veldis, síka elda.
The wife of the emperor began to desire to relate her repentance to Catherine; men show the Hlökk <valkyrie> of rings [WOMAN] on a dark night to the locked house. I heard that the slope of the fires of ditches [GOLD > WOMAN] then bent down with a humble breast before the holy maiden of the heavens’ realm; it was to her a sublime bliss.
23 ‘Sættu mig við sólar drottin;
syndir játa eg þier með gráti,
giftu fyld og guðdóms krafti
göfgust mær’, kvað hilmis kæra.
‘Trúðu á þann, er tók að smíða
— traust kalla eg það — skepnu alla,
Lofn guðvefs, en löstum hafna’;
limr mælti svá fylkis himna.
‘Reconcile me with the lord of the sun [= God]; I confess to you my sins with weeping, most noble maiden, full of good fortune and strength of divinity’, said the wife of the prince. ‘Believe in him who fashioned all creation — I call that trust — Lofn <goddess> of velvet [WOMAN], but discard flaws’: thus spoke the limb of the king of the heavens [= God > HOLY WOMAN].
24 Drottins tjáði dýrsta háttu
dýrlig ambátt himna stýris,
Rínar báls svá að raungum greinum
Rist hafnaði en játti Kristi.
Síðan töluðu sætur báðar
sómlundaðar af góðu tómi
alla nótt um eingla stillis
orð og verk, þau er guðdóm merkja.
The glorious handmaid of the king of the heavens [= God > HOLY WOMAN] related the most glorious deeds of the Lord, so that the Rist <valkyrie> of the Rhine’s fire [GOLD > ] discarded false beliefs, and acknowledged Christ. Subsequently, both honourable-minded women spoke at good leisure all night about the words and deeds of the ruler of angels [= God], which signify the Godhead.
25 Skjöldungr veitir skýja veldis
skírðum þjóðum alt hið góða
hjartanliga á himnum björtum;
háleitr er Kristr Jésús sálum.
Stendr og sitr til hægri handar
heilög Máría aldar deili;
mildingr skipar nú mána foldar
mæstr Kátrínu henni hið næsta.
The king of the realm of the clouds [SKY/HEAVEN > = God] sincerely grants baptised people in the bright heavens everything good; Jesus Christ is sublime towards souls. Holy Mary stands and sits at the right hand of the ruler of people [= God]; the greatest prince of the land of the moon [SKY/HEAVEN > = God] now places Catherine next to her.
26 Riddari tók, sá er ræsis leiddi
ranns til myrkrs fyr göfgan svanna
eiginkván, af orðum Ságu
eiða linns að kasta heiðni.
Ýtir sagðiz aldar gætis
elgs sólbyrðis meyju helgri
gilliga vafðr í glæpum öllum:
‘guð Ísáks kenn mier að prísa’.
The knight, who led the wife of the king to the house of darkness before the noble woman, abandoned heathendom because of the words of the Sága <goddess> of the lands of the serpent [GOLD > WOMAN]. The launcher of the elk of the gunwale [lit. sun-board [SHIP > SEAFARER]] said to the holy maiden of the guardian of the world [= God] that he was thoroughly entangled in all crimes: ‘Teach me to praise the god of Isaac’.
27 Kátrín beiddi hann Kristi játa
klökkvandi en neita fjanda:
‘síðan tak þú synd að hrjóða,
seims tínandi, úr brjósti þínu.
Einum skaltu í þrenning þjóna
þeim, er skafti sól og heima,
föður og syni, og ferðir lýða
flóð og land, og helgum anda’.
Catherine asked him on the verge of tears to profess Christ and deny the devil: ‘subsequently you shall banish sin from your breast, collector of gold [MAN]. You shall serve one in Trinity, Father and Son and Holy Spirit, the one who created the sun and worlds and crowds of people, [as well as] sea and land’.
28 Helga siðu tók dreingr og dólga
dúcenti í myrku húsi
lægis — var það líkn — af fögrum
listarorðum bríma skorðu.
Porphíríus hiet princeps þessi;
pells kendi þeim guðsorð þella;
fleygir trúði sá fálka teiga
fannar hverr á drottin sannan.
The man accepted the holy faith along with two hundred enemies in the prison [lit. dark house] because of the beautiful words of excellence of the prop of the fire of the sea [GOLD > WOMAN]; it was an act of mercy. Porphyry was the name of this chieftain; the young pine of velvet [WOMAN] taught them God’s word; each distributor of the snow-drift of the falcon’s land [ARM > SILVER > GENEROUS MAN] believed in the true Lord.
29 Hrist fór þá með hreinu brjósti
hrings á braut og málma Gautar;
öll leyfðu þau eingla stilli
endalaust, sem guðs mær kendi.
Stendr og sitr til hægri handar
heilög Máría aldar deili;
mildingr skipar nú mána foldar
mæstr Kátrínu henni hið næsta.
The Hrist <valkyrie> of the ring [WOMAN] then went away with a pure breast and [so did] the Gautar <= Óðinn> of metal [WARRIORS]; they all praised the ruler of angels [= God] endlessly, as God’s maiden taught. Holy Mary stands and sits at the right hand of the ruler of people [= God]; the greatest prince of the land of the moon [SKY/HEAVEN > = God] now places Catherine next to her.
30 Tólf daga liet tróðu elfar
tiggi elds í höftum liggja
bunna fast í byrgðu ranni,
— bauð hann slíkt — áðr * hun tók dauða.
Sína hitti siklingr mána
sannr lausnari allra manna
ítarligr með eingla sveitum
ambátt kæra og ljósi skæru.
For twelve days the king let the stick of the fire of the river [GOLD > WOMAN] lie bound fast in fetters in the locked house before she died; he commanded thus. The magnificent prince of the moon [= God (= Christ)], the true redeemer of all men [= God (= Christ)], met his dear handmaid with hosts of angels and a bright light.
31 ‘Verð ertú’, segir drottinn dýrðar,
‘dyggust mær, á himni að byggja;
laun skaltú fyr þrautir þínar
þiggja’, slíkt kvað eingla tiggi.
‘Hræðaz þarftu ei hót nie dauða
heiðins grams nie mikla reiði;
sveitir ætla eg að senda á móti
sálu þinni eingla minna.’
‘You are worthy, most virtuous maiden’, says the lord of glory [= God], ‘of dwelling in heaven; you shall receive a reward for your struggles’, thus spoke the king of angels [= God]. ‘You need not fear threats of the heathen king nor death nor great anger; I intend to send towards your soul hosts of my angels.’
32 Kátrín gjörðiz hress af heitum
hildings þess, er veitir mildi;
bæði girntiz bauga tróða
beiska nauð og sáran dauða.
Siklingr bauð til sín að leiða
sæta ambátt veraldar gætis;
bjartur skein, sem brynni af kerti,
bauga þellu geisli af augum.
Catherine became cheerful from the promises of the prince, who grants mercy; the stick of rings [WOMAN] desired both dire suffering and a painful death. The prince requested the sweet handmaid of the guardian of the world [= God > HOLY WOMAN] be brought before him; a bright ray shone from the eyes of the young pine of rings [WOMAN] as if a candle was burning.
33 Allir tóku að undraz þollar
öglis ness, er mærin þessi
skyldi svá með skæru holdi
skína mega fyr píslum sínum.
Stendr og sitr til hægri handar
heilög Máría aldar deili;
mildingr skipar nú mána foldar
mæstr Kátrínu henni hið næsta.
All fir-trees of the headland of the snake [GOLD > MEN] were surprised when this maiden could so shine with a bright body despite her torments. Holy Mary stands and sits at the right hand of the ruler of people [= God]; the greatest prince of the land of the moon [SKY/HEAVEN > = God] now places Catherine next to her.
34 Stef, þau er eg með stuðla knífi
smíðað hefi *, munu verða að líða;
skjöldungs er víst nú skýja veldis
slæmrinn gjörr um háleitt dæmi.
Öll hafði þá odda spillir
orðin söm við falda skorðu;
blóta fægir bauðz að eiga
bragnings meyju sólar vagna.
The refrains, which I have * constructed with the knife of stuðlar [TONGUE], will be coming to an end; the conclusion will now certainly be made about the sublime example of the king of the realm of the clouds [SKY/HEAVEN > = God]. The destroyer of swords’ points [WARRIOR] had then spoken all the same words to the prop of headdresses [WOMAN]; the performer of sacrifices [HEATHEN MAN] offered to marry the maiden of the prince of the wagons of the sun [SKY/HEAVEN > = God > HOLY WOMAN].
35 ‘Hygg að þú nú, heiðinn tiggi’,
hæð mælti, ‘sá öllu er æðri,
hvárn mundir þú, eða heimsku gjarnan’,
hafnarljósa, ‘fyrri kjósa’?
‘Heldur kjöri eg’, kvað hristir skjalda,
‘hverjum frægra en öllum lægra;
eigi skil eg, hví öðling Sága
elda síks hefir friett að slíku.’
‘Now consider, heathen king’ said the height of the harbour-light [GOLD > WOMAN], ‘whom you would rather choose, one who is higher than anything else or one eager for folly?’ ‘I choose rather’ said the the shaker of shields [WARRIOR], ‘the one who is more famous than all others than the one who is inferior to all others; I do not understand, why the Sága <goddess> of the fires of the channel [GOLD > WOMAN] has asked the king about such a matter’.
36 ‘Öllum hlutum er æðri og sælli
Jésús Kristr, en fie og listir
umgeypnandi allrar skepnu
er veitandi manni hverjum.
Hirðir blessar himna dýrðar
hljómraddaðr á efsta dómi
— sunnudagr er þá — sínum mönnum;’
svá greinir það mærin hreina.
‘Jesus Christ is higher and more blessed than anything else, and the holder [in his hands] of all creation [= God] grants each man wealth and skills. The shepherd of the glory of the heavens [= God] blesses in a loud voice his men at the Last Judgement; it is then Sunday’; thus the pure maiden explains it.
37 Hirði*þöll tók hans til orða
hyrjar flóðs og rieð að spyrja
— runnu tár um hvarma henni —
‘hvess kunni þier meyna þessa?
Aldri hefir hun yðru veldi
unnið mein, svá það megi greina;
grams unnarar gæzku sinnar
gjalda frá þier himna skjaldar’.
His tending tree of the fire of the sea [GOLD > WOMAN] began to speak and decided to ask — tears ran from her eyelids —: ‘What do you accuse this maiden of? She has never done your realm harm, insofar that it may be detected; the lovers of the king of the shield of heaven [SUN > = God > HOLY MEN] pay because of you for their goodness’.
38 Æðin hljóp í plátu prýði;
pína bauð hann drotning sína;
brjóstin skáru blóta lystir
baugs spennandar lífs af henni.
Tiggi liet þá tróðu höggva
tálgjarnastur Iðja mála;
sálin giet eg, að hennar hvíli
himna Krists í dýrðarvistum.
Anger overtook the adorner of harness [WARRIOR]; he requested that his queen be tortured; the sacrifice-keen squanderers of the ring [GENEROUS MEN] cut the breasts off her while she was alive. The very deceit-inclined king then had the stick of the speech of Iði <giant> [GOLD > WOMAN] slain; I expect that her soul rests in the glorious abodes of Christ’s heavens.
39 Ýtir, frá eg, að efli blóta
Iðja raddar þann veg kvaddi:
‘reyna skal eg nú ræsi að þjóna
röðla skríns og fielagar mínir.
Dæmi munu menn hvergi í heimi
heyra slík fyr sínum eyrum,
Draupnis hlynr, er drotning þína,
döggvar, bautt með sverði að höggva.’
I heard that the the launcher of the speech of Iði <giant> [GOLD > GENEROUS MAN] spoke to the promoter of sacrifices [HEATHEN MAN] in this way: ‘I shall now try to serve the king of the shrine of heavenly bodies [SKY/HEAVEN > = God] and my comrades [as well]. Nowhere in the world will men hear such deeds before their ears, that [you], maple of Draupnir’s <ring> dew [GOLD > MAN], requested your queen to be slain with a sword’.
40 ‘Hvern býð eg’, kvað hinn heimskugjarni,
‘hjörva lund að missa fjörvi,
veðra, hválfs að vísi heiðrar,
vella njótr, en hafnar blótum.’
Ýtar kváðuz eingla gæti
jötna róms hafa hugað að þjóna;
meiðar tóku dapran dauða
Drafnar elds í Jésú nafni.
‘I order’, spoke the stupidity-inclined one, ‘that each tree of swords [MAN] shall lose his life, who honours the king of the vault of the winds [SKY/HEAVEN > = God] and abandons sacrifices, user of gold [MAN]’. The launchers of the speech of giants [GOLD > MEN] said that they had decided to serve the guardian of angels [= God]; the trees of the fire of Dröfn <wave> [GOLD > MEN] died a sad death in the name of Jesus.
41 Porphíríum fyr píslir stórar
prýddan vann og tvenn hundrað manna;
giet eg þess víst, að gumnar hljóti
göfuglig laun af sólar jöfri.
Ljúfri bauð enn lestir hlífa
lofðungs ambátt himintungla,
auð og fold að eignaz skyldi,
eitri líkr, en drotning heita.
Porphyry and two hundred men achieved honour for their great torments; I expect that the men will surely receive a generous reward from the king of the sun [= God]. The destroyer of defences [WARRIOR], like poison, again offered the beloved handmaid of the king of heavenly bodies [= God > HOLY WOMAN] that she would receive wealth and land and be called queen.
42 ‘Neittu eigi að þiggja þetta’,
Þundr mælti svá orma grundar,
‘pella brík, ei píslir stækar
pálmar hneitis þier um veiti’.
‘Vielamaðr’, kvað veiti*selja
víns, ‘frestaðu ei dauða mínum;
aldri skal eg nú yðru veldi
unna; dýrka eg hilmi sunnu’.
’Do not refuse to accept this, screen of velvet [WOMAN]’, thus spoke the Þundr <= Óðinn> of the land of serpents [GOLD > WARRIOR], ‘that the palm trees of the sword [WARRIORS] do not inflict on you violent tortures’. ‘Man of deceits’, said the offering-willow of wine [WOMAN], ‘do not delay my death; I shall now never love your power; I worship the king of the sun [= God]’.
43 Reiðr gjörðiz þá ræsir skorðu
refla; beiddi lýða eflir
Hildar veðrs, að höggva skyldi
himna gætis ambátt mæta.
Blíðust fór þá björt og skærust
blessuð dyggust mæt og hyggin
fríð og fögr með píslarprýði
pella brík til himnaríkis.
The king then became angry with the prop of wallhangings [WOMAN]; the promoter of Hildr’s <valkyrie> storm [BATTLE > WARRIOR] requested of his men that they should slay the great handmaid of the guardian of the heavens [= God > HOLY WOMAN]. The gentlest, bright and most pure, blessed, most faithful, great and intelligent, fair and beautiful screen of velvet [WOMAN] then went with the crown of martyrdom to the kingdom of the heavens.
44 Linna huldi líkam hennar
leitis Njörðr í grænni jörðu;
öndin fór með einglum stýris
imnasaungs á bjarta himna.
Tákna fjöld má trauðla reikna
tunga mín, er Káterína
vann einart, á grundu grænni;
grein sönn er það kristnum mönnum.
The Njörðr <god> of the hill of serpents [GOLD > MAN] buried her body in the green earth; the soul went with the angels of the ruler of hymn-singing [= God] to the clear skies. My tongue can hardly count the number of miracles, which Catherine incessantly worked on the green earth; it is a true fact for Christian men.
45 Ljóðað hefi eg um líf og dauða
lims mætiligs aldar gætis;
djörfung mikil er slíkt að starfa
spilli baugs með tungu illri.
Hilding beiðir himna veldis
hneigiþollr, að reiðiz eigi,
öglis túna, orðum mínum;
yndi mitt hefi eg lagt við syndir.
I have composed [a poem] about the life and death of the limb of the great guardian of people [= God > HOLY WOMAN = Catherine]; it is great boldness to do such for a destroyer of the ring [GENEROUS MAN] with a poor tongue. The giving tree of the homefields of the snake [GOLD > GENEROUS MAN] asks the king of the realm of the heavens [= God] not to be angered by my words; I have taken my delight in sins.
46 Bergða eg með brjósti saurgu
blóði og holdi skapara þjóðar;
sálliga er eg í sauri öllum
synda vafðr og ilsku lyndi.
Hilmi eg fyr hneitis pálmum
hórdómi sem stuld og morði;
manndrápið verðr oftar unnið,
Yggjar báls, en runnar hyggja.
I tasted with a filthy breast the blood and flesh of the creator of people [= God]; I am painfully entangled in all the filth of sins and disposition to wickedness. I hide from the palm-trees of the sword [WARRIORS] adultery as well as theft and homicide; manslaughter is more often committed than the trees of Yggr’s <= Óðinn> fire [SWORDS > WARRIORS] think.
47 Heita vil eg á himna gæti
hræddr og skelfdur, að mín græddi
andar sár, því eg hefi bundið
yndi mitt við fúlar syndir.
Dýra bið eg döglings móður
dæmistóls sem heims og sólar
árnaðarorðs við hilmi hlýrna
háleitan fyr minni sálu.
Afraid and trembling, I want to call upon the guardian of heaven [= God] that he may heal my wounds of the soul, because I have taken pleasure in foul sins. I ask the glorious mother of the king of the judgement seat as well as of the world and the sun [= God (= Christ) > = Mary] for a word of intercession for my soul with the sublime king of heavenly bodies [= God (= Christ)].
48 Alla kveðr eg aldar stillis
eingla sveit, að mier skuli veita
tienað sinn, svá taki að hrynja
tárin hrein af brúnar steinum.
Ráðinn er eg nú allra að iðraz
ódáða, svá að eg fái náðir
annars heims, þá er drottinn dæmir
dýrstrar hallar þjóðir allar.
I invoke the entire host of angels of the ruler of people [= God], that it will grant me its assistance, so that pure tears begin to run from the stones of the eye-brow [EYES]. I am now determined to repent all misdeeds, so that I will receive peace in the other world, when the king of the most glorious hall [= God (= Christ)] judges all peoples.
49 Kátrín bið eg, að Kálfi veiti
kvæðislaun, er hleypr hin skæða
emjandi frá efsta dómi,
öflug, ferð með svörtum djöfli.
Greini og verndi gjörðir mínar
göfug Máría sólar jöfri
giftu fyld og guðdóms krafti;
græðarinn einn er henni æðri.
I ask that powerful Catherine grant Kálfur [me] payment for the poem, when the dangerous host runs howling with the black devil from the Last Judgement. May the noble Mary, full of good fortune and the power of divinity, explain and defend my deeds to the king of the sun [= God (= Christ)]; only the Saviour is higher than she.
50 Öllum veitir eingla stillir
— orð sönn eru það — kristnum mönnum
dýrð háleitri, en Ullar orðum
unnar dýra biðja kunna.
Eigendur* fyr iðran fagra
jötna róms á efsta dómi
hæsta tígn með helgum Kristi
hljóti *, svá að aldri þrjóti.
The ruler of angels [= God] grants to all Christian men — those are true words — a more sublime glory than the Ullar <gods> of the animals of the wave [SHIPS > SEAFARERS] know how to ask for in words. May the owners of the speech of giants [GOLD > PEOPLE] receive at the Last Judgement the highest honour with holy Christ, so that it never ends, for a beautiful repentance.
51 Káterín, við óði mætum
efni gless með söguna þessa;
Vítulus gaf honum viðarins heiti
vátes †bernit†, en nú er hann fráter.
Líttu, maðr, á letrið þetta;
landi reit, segir óðar veitir;
Laufa þollr, í læstu briefi
leita máttu að váru heiti.
Rejoice, Catherine, in the poem with costly materials with this story; Kálfur the poet †bernit† gave it the name of the tree, but now he is a monk. Look, man, at this writing; a countryman wrote it, says the giver of the poem [POET]; you can search, fir-tree of Laufi <sword> [WARRIOR], for our [my] name in the closed letter.
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