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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Kálf Kátr 29VII

Kirsten Wolf (ed.) 2007, ‘Kálfr Hallsson, Kátrínardrápa 29’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 949.

Kálfr HallssonKátrínardrápa

text and translation

Hrist fór þá með hreinu brjósti
hrings á braut og málma Gautar;
öll leyfðu þau eingla stilli
endalaust, sem guðs mær kendi.
Stendr og sitr til hægri handar
heilög Máría aldar deili;
mildingr skipar nú mána foldar
mæstr Kátrínu henni hið næsta.

{Hrist hrings} fór þá á braut með hreinu brjósti og {Gautar málma}; öll leyfðu þau {stilli eingla} endalaust, sem guðs mær kendi. Heilög Máría stendr og sitr til hægri handar {deili aldar}; {mæstr mildingr {foldar mána}} skipar nú Kátrínu hið næsta henni.
‘The Hrist <valkyrie> of the ring [WOMAN] then went away with a pure breast and [so did] the Gautar <= Óðinn> of metal [WARRIORS]; they all praised the ruler of angels [= God] endlessly, as God’s maiden taught. 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

[1-4]: The reference is presumably to the emperor’s wife and the now converted knights, who, according to the prose text, kissed one another, commended themselves to God and went away from the prison, asking the guards to keep quiet about what had taken place there (Unger 1877, I, 413; Wolf 2003, 134). — [5-8]: The poet continues with the same stef as in sts 17, 21 and 25, though one might perhaps have expected the introduction of a second stef at this point. The poet also refers to pl. refrains (stef þau) in 34/1, but he must presumably mean repetitions of a single 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 29: AII, 522, BII, 576, Skald II, 317, Kahle 1898, 73, 107, Sperber 1911, 49-50, 81.


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