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Runic Dictionary

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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, ‘(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.

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, 954

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

37 — Kálf Kátr 37VII

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance

 

Cite as: Kirsten Wolf (ed.) 2007, ‘Kálfr Hallsson, Kátrínardrápa 37’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 954.

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’.

{Hans hirði*þöll {hyrjar flóðs}} tók til orða og rieð að spyrja — tár runnu henni um hvarma —: ‘hvess kunni þier meyna þessa? Hun hefir aldri unnið yðru veldi mein, svá það megi greina; {unnarar {grams {skjaldar himna}}} gjalda frá þier gæzku sinnar’.

{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’.

Mss: 713(132), 399a-bˣ(21), 920ˣ(217v)

Readings: [1] Hirði*þöll: Hirðisþöll all    [7] unnarar: unnari all

Editions: Skj: [Anonyme digte og vers XIV], [B. 11]. Katrínar drápa 37: AII, 523-4, BII, 578, Skald II, 319, Kahle 1898, 75, 108, Sperber 1911, 51, 82.

Notes: [4-8]: These ll. follow quite closely the Empress’s speech to Maxentius in the prose text (Unger 1877, I, 417; Wolf 2003, 137): Heyrit, herra keisari, hvat ilt gerði ein litil mær ydru riki, eða skal hun giallda giætzku sinnar fra þer ok tyna þar fyrir dyrd sinnar fegrdar? ‘Listen, Lord Emperor, what harm has a little maiden done to your kingdom, or must she pay for her goodness because of you and lose therefore the glory of her beauty?’.

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