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Kálfr Hallsson (Kálf)

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

Kátrínardrápa (Kátr) - 51

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, ‘ 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. <> (accessed 4 July 2022)

stanzas:  1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   11   12   13   14   15   16   17   18   19   20   21   22   23   24   25   26   27   28   29   30   31   32   33   34   35   36   37   38   39   40   41   42   43   44   45   46   47   48   49   50   51 

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

SkP info: VII, 943

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

18 — Kálf Kátr 18VII

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Kirsten Wolf (ed.) 2007, ‘Kálfr Hallsson, Kátrínardrápa 18’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 943.

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’.

Eg segi, að hilmir hugðiz tæla {mæta ambátt {gætis himna}}; {mýgir {fannar lófa}} bauðz þá fögru fljóði að eiginmanni. ‘Allir í mínu veldi’, kvað {spillir odda}, ‘skulu heiðra þig, {Lofn {elda {hnyssings teigs}}}, sem helga gyðju, ef vill eiga mig’.

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’.

editions: Skj [Anonyme digte og vers XIV]: [B. 11]. Katrínar drápa 18 (AII, 520; BII, 573-4); Skald II, 315, Kahle 1898, 70-1, 107, Sperber 1911, 47, 80.


AM 713 4° (713) 130 - 131  transcr.  image  image  
JS 399 a-b 4°x (399a-bx) 10 - 10  
AM 920 4°x (920x) 215r - 215r  image  
Runic data from Samnordisk runtextdatabas, Uppsala universitet, unless otherwise stated