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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Kálf Kátr 17VII

Kirsten Wolf (ed.) 2007, ‘Kálfr Hallsson, Kátrínardrápa 17’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 942-3.

Kálfr HallssonKátrínardrápa

text and translation

Heyr þú, blessaðr himna dýrðar
— heita skal eg nú á þig — veitir;
græðari minn og guðdóms spennir,
gief mier viðkvæmilig orð til stefja.
Stendr og sitr til hægri handar
heilög Máría aldar deili;
mildingr skipar nú mána foldar
mæstr Kátrínu henni hið næsta.

Heyr þú, {blessaðr veitir dýrðar himna}; eg skal nú heita á þig; græðari minn og {spennir guðdóms}, gief mier orð viðkvæmilig til stefja. Heilög Máría stendr og sitr til hægri handar {deili aldar}; {mæstr mildingr {foldar mána}} skipar nú Kátrínu hið næsta henni.
‘Listen, blessed provider of the glory of the heavens [= God], I shall now call upon you; my Saviour and clasper of the Godhead [= God], give me words suitable for a refrain. Holy Mary stands and sits at the right hand of the ruler of people [= God]; the greatest prince of the land of the moon [SKY/HEAVEN > = God] now places Catherine next to her.

notes and context

[5-8]: The poem’s stef or refrain, marked in 713 by an obelos in the left-hand margin. Here begins the poem’s stefjabálkr, marked by stef at sts 17, 21, 25, 29 and 33. In ll. 1-4 the poet calls upon God to give him words suitable for the stef.


Text is based on reconstruction from the base text and variant apparatus and may contain alternative spellings and other normalisations not visible in the manuscript text. Transcriptions may not have been checked and should not be cited.

editions and texts

Skj: [Anonyme digte og vers XIV], [B. 11]. Katrínar drápa 17: AII, 520, BII, 573, Skald II, 315, NN §2958A and D, 2963, Kahle 1898, 70, 107, Sperber 1911, 47, 80.


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