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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Kálf Kátr 7VII

Kirsten Wolf (ed.) 2007, ‘Kálfr Hallsson, Kátrínardrápa 7’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 936-7.

Kálfr HallssonKátrínardrápa

text and translation

Mærin giekk fyr málma skýran
mæt fremjanda spekt að temja;
heilög gjörði hilmi skorða
hrannar báls að kveðja þannveg.
‘Dýrka þú aldri djöful með verki,
döglings niðr, eða bænum fögrum;
liettu að blóta lýða ættir,
laga greinir’, kvað mærin hreina.

Mæt mærin giekk fyr {skýran fremjanda málma} að temja spekt; {heilög skorða {báls hrannar}} gjörði að kveðja hilmi þannveg: ‘Dýrka þú aldri, döglings niðr, djöful með verki eða bænum fögrum; liettu ættir lýða að blóta, {greinir laga}’, kvað mærin hreina.
‘The worthy maiden went before the clever promoter of weapons [WARRIOR] to practise her wisdom; the holy prop of the fire of the wave [GOLD > WOMAN] prepared to address the king thus: ‘Never worship, king’s son, the devil with deeds or beautiful prayers; make families of people stop sacrificing, elucidator of laws [RULER]’, said the pure maiden.

notes and context

In the prose saga (Unger 1877, I, 401-5; Wolf 2003, 124-7) Catherine embarks upon a very lengthy sermon-like debate with Maxentius, the substance of which covers sts 7-11, though not in such a direct fashion as in the poem.



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 7: AII, 518, BII, 571, Skald II, 313-14, Kahle 1898, 68, 106, Sperber 1911, 44, 79.


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