Wednesday 30 December 2009

Hedvig Charlotta Nordenflycht (1718-1763) - Sweden's first major female poet

Concerning a hyacinth
To – – –

You wondrous plant whose match in colour,
In sheen, allure I nowhere see,
In Flora’s realm I find no other
Whose beauty so enraptures me:
Your petals Nature is suffusing,
In art, in splendour sets alight;
A subtle balsam-scent diffusing,
You bring me pleasure and delight.

My tender care shall never fail you,
You get to breathe a milder air,
No sudden squall shall e’er assail you,
No heat and cold shall you impair.
A gentle breeze shall worries banish,
And infiltrate your every pore,
And when from warmth you greatly languish
A cooling tide shall you restore.

But when at last, all blooms displaying,
You grace my hut in full allure,
The cruel law of change obeying,
You fade and die and are no more.
You soon forget my pleasant duty,
And tire of all my watchful guard,
Conceal in meagre dust your beauty,
Are you ungrateful, then, and hard?

But shall I censure this poor flower,
Accuse a being frail as she,
Whose lot’s to alter by the hour,
She has to be what she must be.
She is as grass, she has to perish,
I bear no grudge because of this.
And cold grows too a heart I cherish
It has to be the way it is.

To see the original poem go to here