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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, ‘ 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 30 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, 955-6

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

39 — Kálf Kátr 39VII

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Kirsten Wolf (ed.) 2007, ‘Kálfr Hallsson, Kátrínardrápa 39’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 955-6.

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.’

Eg frá, að {ýtir {raddar Iðja}} kvaddi {efli blóta} þann veg: ‘eg skal nú reyna að þjóna {ræsi {skríns röðla}} og fielagar mínir. Hvergi í heimi munu menn heyra slík dæmi fyr sínum eyrum, er, {hlynr {Draupnis döggvar}}, bautt drotning þína að höggva með sverði’.

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’.

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

Readings: [2] Iðja: ‘jdiv’ all

Editions: Skj: [Anonyme digte og vers XIV], [B. 11]. Katrínar drápa 39: AII, 524, BII, 579, Skald II, 319, Kahle 1898, 75, 108, Sperber 1911, 52, 82.

Notes: [All]: The subject of the kenning in ll. 1-2 and the speaker of ll. 3-8 is the riddari (26/1) Porphyry (last mentioned in sts 26-8), who, after Maxentius has had his wife put to death, attempts to persuade him to convert to Christianity. This fails and he and his followers are martyred too. In the prose text the substance of sts 39-41 are the subjects of long speeches between Maxentius and Porphyry (Unger 1877, I, 418-19; Wolf 2003, 134). — [7, 8] Draupnis döggvar ‘of Draupnir’s dew [GOLD]’: A kenning for gold, referring to the property of the god Óðinn’s gold ring Draupnir (lit. ‘dripper’) to produce eight new rings that dripped from it every ninth night (SnE 1982, 47).

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