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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 27 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, 962

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

49 — Kálf Kátr 49VII

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Kirsten Wolf (ed.) 2007, ‘Kálfr Hallsson, Kátrínardrápa 49’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 962.

Kátrín bið eg, að Kálfi veiti
kvæðislaun, er hleypr hin skæða
emjandi frá efsta dómi,
öflug, ferð með svörtum djöfli.
Greini og verndi gjörðir mínar
göfug Máría sólar jöfri
giftu fyld og guðdóms krafti;
græðarinn einn er henni æðri.

Eg bið, að öflug Kátrín veiti Kálfi kvæðislaun, er hin skæða ferð hleypr emjandi með svörtum djöfli frá efsta dómi. Göfug Máría, fyld giftu og krafti guðdóms, greini og verndi gjörðir mínar {jöfri sólar}; græðarinn einn er æðri henni.

I ask that powerful Catherine grant Kálfur [me] payment for the poem, when the dangerous host runs howling with the black devil from the Last Judgement. May the noble Mary, full of good fortune and the power of divinity, explain and defend my deeds {to the king of the sun} [= God (= Christ)]; only the Saviour is higher than she.

editions: Skj [Anonyme digte og vers XIV]: [B. 11]. Katrínar drápa 49 (AII, 526; BII, 581); Skald II, 321; Jón Þorkelsson 1888, 235 (ll. 1-4), Kahle 1898, 77, 109, Sperber 1911, 54, 83.


AM 713 4° (713) 133 - 133  transcr.  image  image  
JS 399 a-b 4°x (399a-bx) 26 - 26  
AM 920 4°x (920x) 219r - 219r  image  
Runic data from Samnordisk runtextdatabas, Uppsala universitet, unless otherwise stated