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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 25 June 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, 946

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

23 — Kálf Kátr 23VII

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Kirsten Wolf (ed.) 2007, ‘Kálfr Hallsson, Kátrínardrápa 23’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 946.

‘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.

‘Sættu mig við {drottin sólar}; eg játa þier syndir með gráti, göfgust mær, fyld giftu og krafti guðdóms’, kvað kæra hilmis. ‘Trúðu á þann, er tók að smíða alla skepnu — eg kalla það traust — {Lofn guðvefs}, en hafna löstum’: svá mælti {limr {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].

editions: Skj [Anonyme digte og vers XIV]: [B. 11]. Katrínar drápa 23 (AII, 521; BII, 575); Skald II, 316, Kahle 1898, 72, 107, Sperber 1911, 48, 81.


AM 713 4° (713) 131 - 131  transcr.  image  image  
JS 399 a-b 4°x (399a-bx) 13 - 13  
AM 920 4°x (920x) 215v - 215v  image  
Runic data from Samnordisk runtextdatabas, Uppsala universitet, unless otherwise stated