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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Kálf Kátr 22VII

Kirsten Wolf (ed.) 2007, ‘Kálfr Hallsson, Kátrínardrápa 22’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 945-6.

Kálfr HallssonKátrínardrápa

text and translation

Keisarans tók kvón að fýsaz
Kátrínu að tjá iðran sína;
bragnar vísa að byrgðu húsi
bauga Hlökk á grímu dökkri.
Brekku frá eg með brjósti klökku
beygja svá fyr helgri meyju
— háleit var það henni sæla —
himna veldis, síka elda.

Kvón keisarans tók að fýsaz að tjá Kátrínu iðran sína; bragnar vísa {Hlökk bauga} á dökkri grímu að byrgðu húsi. Eg frá {brekku {elda síka}} beygja svá með klökku brjósti fyr helgri meyju himna veldis; það var henni háleit sæla.
‘The wife of the emperor began to desire to relate her repentance to Catherine; men show the Hlökk <valkyrie> of rings [WOMAN] on a dark night to the locked house. I heard that the slope of the fires of ditches [GOLD > WOMAN] then bent down with a humble breast before the holy maiden of the heavens’ realm; it was to her a sublime bliss.

notes and context

In the prose account, the emperor’s wife enlists the help of the knight (riddari) Porphyry (see st. 26) to gain access to Catherine, and he bribes the prison guards at night (Unger 1877, I, 409-10; Wolf 2003, 132).



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 22: AII, 521, BII, 574-5, Skald II, 316, Kahle 1898, 71, 107, Sperber 1911, 48, 81.


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