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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 28 November 2021)

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, 945-6

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

22 — Kálf Kátr 22VII

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Kirsten Wolf (ed.) 2007, ‘Kálfr Hallsson, Kátrínardrápa 22’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 945-6.

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.

Kvón keisarans tók að fýsaz að tjá Kátrínu iðran sína; bragnar vísa {Hlökk bauga} á dökkri grímu að byrgðu húsi. Eg frá {brekku {elda síka}} beygja svá með klökku brjósti fyr helgri meyju himna veldis; það var henni háleit sæla.

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.

Mss: 713(131), 399a-bˣ(12), 920ˣ(215v)

Readings: [8] síka: sík all

Editions: Skj: [Anonyme digte og vers XIV], [B. 11]. Katrínar drápa 22: AII, 521, BII, 574-5, Skald II, 316, Kahle 1898, 71, 107, Sperber 1911, 48, 81.

Notes: [All]: In the prose account, the emperor’s wife enlists the help of the knight (riddari) Porphyry (see st. 26) to gain access to Catherine, and he bribes the prison guards at night (Unger 1877, I, 409-10; Wolf 2003, 132).

Runic data from Samnordisk runtextdatabas, Uppsala universitet, unless otherwise stated