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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Kálf Kátr 21VII

Kirsten Wolf (ed.) 2007, ‘Kálfr Hallsson, Kátrínardrápa 21’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 945.

Kálfr HallssonKátrínardrápa

Drottinn sæll rieð dregla þellu
dæmistóls með táknum sæma;
fæddiz henni ei fyrr nie síðar
fróðari mær nema drottins móðir.
Stendr og sitr til hægri handar
heilög Máría aldar deili;
mildingr skipar nú mána foldar
mæstr Kátrínu henni hið næsta.

{Sæll drottinn dæmistóls} rieð sæma {þellu dregla} með táknum; ei fyrr nie síðar fæddiz fróðari mær henni nema {móðir drottins}. Heilög Máría stendr og sitr til hægri handar {deili aldar}; {mæstr mildingr {foldar mána}} skipar nú Kátrínu hið næsta henni.

{The blessed Lord of the judgement seat} [= God] decided to honour {the young pine of ribbons} [WOMAN] with miracles; neither before nor since has a more knowledgeable maiden than she been born, except {the Lord’s mother} [= Mary]. 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.

Mss: 713(131), 399a-bˣ(12), 920ˣ(215v)

Readings: [1] dregla: ‘[...]a’ 713, ‘(dý)ra’(?) 399a‑bˣ, ‘(dyg)ga’(?) 920ˣ    [7-8] so 399a‑bˣ, 920ˣ, abbrev. as ‘m. s. nu .m. f. m. k. h. e. n’ 713

Editions: Skj AII, 520-1, Skj BII, 574, Skald II, 316, Kahle 1898, 71, 107, Sperber 1911, 47-8, 81.

Notes: [1] dregla (m. gen. pl.) ‘ribbons’: This emendation was suggested by Sperber and followed by Finnur Jónsson (Skj B) and Kock (Skald); Kahle has hringa ‘rings’, which is unmetrical (the l. would have only one alliterating stave).


  1. Bibliography
  2. Skj B = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1912-15b. Den norsk-islandske skjaldedigtning. B: Rettet tekst. 2 vols. Copenhagen: Villadsen & Christensen. Rpt. 1973. Copenhagen: Rosenkilde & Bagger.
  3. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  4. Sperber, Hans, ed. 1911. Sechs isländische Gedichte legendarischen Inhalts. Uppsala Universitets årsskrift, filosofi, språkvetenskap och historiska vetenskaper 2. Uppsala: Akademische Buchdruckerei Edv. Berling.
  5. Kahle, Bernhard, ed. 1898. Isländische geistliche Dichtungen des ausgehenden Mittelalters. Heidelberg: Winter.

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