Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Kálf Kátr 32VII

Kirsten Wolf (ed.) 2007, ‘Kálfr Hallsson, Kátrínardrápa 32’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 951.

Kálfr HallssonKátrínardrápa

Kátrín gjörðiz hress af heitum
hildings þess, er veitir mildi;
bæði girntiz bauga tróða
beiska nauð og sáran dauða.
Siklingr bauð til sín að leiða
sæta ambátt veraldar gætis;
bjartur skein, sem brynni af kerti,
bauga þellu geisli af augum.

Kátrín gjörðiz hress af heitum hildings þess, er veitir mildi; {tróða bauga} girntiz bæði beiska nauð og sáran dauða. Siklingr bauð {sæta ambátt {gætis veraldar}} að leiða til sín; bjartur geisli skein af augum {þellu bauga}, sem af kerti brynni.

Catherine became cheerful from the promises of the prince, who grants mercy; {the stick of rings} [WOMAN] desired both dire suffering and a painful death. The prince requested {the sweet handmaid {of the guardian of the world}} [= God > HOLY WOMAN] be brought before him; a bright ray shone from the eyes {of the young pine of rings} [WOMAN] as if a candle was burning.

Mss: 713(132), 399a-bˣ(18), 920ˣ(216v-217r)

Readings: [3] girntiz: ‘’ corrected from ‘giordizt’ in margin 713    [4] nauð og: so 920ˣ, ‘[...]avd ok’ 713, (nauð og)(?) 399a‑bˣ    [6] veraldar: ‘v[...]’ 713, (himna)(?) 399a‑bˣ, ‘[...]’ 920ˣ

Editions: Skj AII, 522-3, Skj BII, 577, Skald II, 318, NN §2958A, Kahle 1898, 73-4, 107, Sperber 1911, 50, 81.

Notes: [6] veraldar (f. gen. sg.) ‘of the world’: Finnur Jónsson (Skj B), to whom the v was not visible, suggests veraldar; Kahle (1898, 107) suggests himna ‘of heaven’ (the reading of 399a-bˣ) or eingla ‘of the angels’; Sperber (1911, 81) himna, eingla, hlýrna ‘of heavenly bodies’, or sunnu ‘of the sun’; Kock (Skald) tungla ‘of heavenly bodies’.


  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. NN = Kock, Ernst Albin. 1923-44. Notationes Norrœnæ: Anteckningar till Edda och skaldediktning. Lunds Universitets årsskrift new ser. 1. 28 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  5. Sperber, Hans, ed. 1911. Sechs isländische Gedichte legendarischen Inhalts. Uppsala Universitets årsskrift, filosofi, språkvetenskap och historiska vetenskaper 2. Uppsala: Akademische Buchdruckerei Edv. Berling.
  6. Kahle, Bernhard, ed. 1898. Isländische geistliche Dichtungen des ausgehenden Mittelalters. Heidelberg: Winter.

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