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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Kálf Kátr 18VII

Kirsten Wolf (ed.) 2007, ‘Kálfr Hallsson, Kátrínardrápa 18’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 943.

Kálfr HallssonKátrínardrápa

text and translation

Hilmir, segi eg, að hugðiz tæla
himna gætis ambátt mæta;
mýgir bauðz þá fljóði fögru
fannar lófa að eiginmanni.
‘Allir skulu’, kvað odda spillir,
‘elda Lofn, í mínu veldi
heiðra þig sem helga gyðju,
hnyssings teigs, ef mig vill eiga’.

Eg segi, að hilmir hugðiz tæla {mæta ambátt {gætis himna}}; {mýgir {fannar lófa}} bauðz þá fögru fljóði að eiginmanni. ‘Allir í mínu veldi’, kvað {spillir odda}, ‘skulu heiðra þig, {Lofn {elda {hnyssings teigs}}}, sem helga gyðju, ef vill eiga mig’.
‘I say that the prince intended to entice the great handmaid of the guardian of the heavens [= God > HOLY WOMAN]; the crusher of the snowdrift of the palm [SILVER > GENEROUS MAN] then offered himself to the beautiful maiden as husband. ‘All in my realm’, said the destroyer of swords’ points [WARRIOR] ‘shall honour you, Lofn <goddess> of the fires of the whale’s land [SEA > GOLD > WOMAN], as a holy goddess, if you will marry me’.

notes and context

Maxentius’s offer of marriage to Catherine in the prose text gives detail about how his most skilful craftsmen will make an image of her which will be worshipped throughout his kingdom (Unger 1877, I, 408; Wolf 2003, 130).


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 18: AII, 520, BII, 573-4, Skald II, 315, Kahle 1898, 70-1, 107, Sperber 1911, 47, 80.


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