Hedvig Charlotta Nordenflycht

"To Archiater Linnæus" in Journey to Västergötland (1747)

Bust of Linnaeus in Uppsala
University Botanical Garden
Photo: Ragnar Insulander

Our Sweden now too can boast
Of great Geniuses and learned Men,
She would not exchange them for others’.
The world of learning still grieves
Our Celsius; and we tremble in fear
Already for Polheim’s white hair;
Our wishes aspire to the ages,
That predict for us such a sorry plight.
In these and more Swedish Wise Men
We have had more than copies:
The whole world knows their value
In inventive talent and power of thought:
Linnæus ekes out this number:
A science with darkness besot
With sweat and toil he enlightens;
How can he in Sweden be forgot?
When the sound of His worthy name
Doth learned Societies grace,
Acclaim and wonder do now
The envy of foreigners replace.
He who in the realm of flowers
Wishes to go far and powerful be,
And, like Linnaeus, never his equal
In this wide arena see,
Must first from him learn the path,
Now both broad and well prepared.
The Frenchman now is honoured,
To be directed by this Swede.
What he has discovered, seen and found
with care, attempts with sense and skill,
Have won the acclaim of every wise man,
And are taught in their every lecture.
Arise, and hasten, Sweden’s brightest!
To a noble challenge be spurred,
Without envy Linnaeus honour,
Lest his voice alone be heard!

Last modified: 2022-02-16