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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Kálf Kátr 3VII/1 — drápudrápa

... drápu að fremja
drottinn lýðs, er guðs son þýðiz;
inna skal þá elda spennir
eyja hrings frá helgri meyju.
Kátrín, frá eg, að kóngs jóð hieti
kostum prýdd, en góð verk þýddiz;
veglig jungfrú var hun og tígin
vitr og fróð að öllu góðu.

Drottinn lýðs, er þýðiz guðs son, ... að fremja drápu, þá skal spennir elda hrings eyja inna frá helgri meyju. Eg frá, að kóngs jóð hieti Kátrín, prýdd kostum, en þýddiz góð verk; hun var veglig jungfrú og tígin, vitr og fróð að öllu góðu.

Lord of people [= God], who is explained as God’s son [= Christ], ... to complete a drápa; then the clasper of the fires of the ring of islands [SEA > GOLD > MAN = Kálfur Hallson (= I)] shall tell of a holy maiden. I heard that a king’s daughter was named Catherine, endowed with virtues, and she performed good deeds; she was a noble maiden and high-born, wise and knowledgeable about all good things.


[1] drápu: so 399a‑bˣ, ‘[...]rápu’ 713, ‘rapu’ 920ˣ


[1]: Finnur Jónsson (Skj A) observes that this l., which is almost illegible due to a tear in 713, may be more or less of a repetition of l. 8 in st. 2. If so, the poet is employing a rhetorical figure (anadiplosis) similar to the one that Snorri Sturluson called drǫgur ‘drawings’ in Ht (SnE 1999, 11 and n. to st. 16/9-10). Kock (Skald; NN §3383) has Dæmi gefi mér drápu at fremja ‘Give me a model to complete a drápa’. Sperber suggests Deili orðfimi drápu að fremja ‘Award word-skill to complete a drápa’, but his reading is unmetrical (the fourth, unstressed syllable cannot carry internal rhyme). The expected sense seems to require a concessional cl.: ‘assuming Christ helps me to complete a drápa, I will tell of a holy maiden …’.



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