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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Kálf Kátr 35VII

Kirsten Wolf (ed.) 2007, ‘Kálfr Hallsson, Kátrínardrápa 35’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 953.

Kálfr HallssonKátrínardrápa

text and translation

‘Hygg að þú nú, heiðinn tiggi’,
hæð mælti, ‘sá öllu er æðri,
hvárn mundir þú, eða heimsku gjarnan’,
hafnarljósa, ‘fyrri kjósa’?
‘Heldur kjöri eg’, kvað hristir skjalda,
‘hverjum frægra en öllum lægra;
eigi skil eg, hví öðling Sága
elda síks hefir friett að slíku.’

‘Hygg þú nú að, heiðinn tiggi’, mælti {hæð {hafnarljósa}}, ‘hvárn mundir þú fyrri kjósa, sá er æðri öllu eða gjarnan heimsku?’ ‘Eg kjöri heldur’, kvað {hristir skjalda}, ‘hverjum frægra en öllum lægra; eg skil eigi, hví {Sága {elda síks}} hefir friett öðling að slíku’.
‘‘Now consider, heathen king’ said the height of the harbour-light [GOLD > WOMAN], ‘whom you would rather choose, one who is higher than anything else or one eager for folly?’ ‘I choose rather’ said the the shaker of shields [WARRIOR], ‘the one who is more famous than all others than the one who is inferior to all others; I do not understand, why the Sága <goddess> of the fires of the channel [GOLD > WOMAN] has asked the king about such a matter’.

notes and context

This st. summarises a long dialogue between Maxentius and Catherine in the prose text (Unger 1877, I, 414-15; Wolf 2003, 135-6).



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 35: AII, 523, BII, 578, Skald II, 318, NN §§2967, 3397M, Kahle 1898, 74, 107, Sperber 1911, 51, 81.


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