THE gold, the bronze, the red, the bright-swart Tulips!
An age being mathematical, these flowers
With linear stalks and spheroid blooms were prized
By men with wakened speculative minds,
And when with mathematics they’d explored
The Macrocosm, they came at last to
The Vital Spirit of the World and named it
Invisible Pure Fire, or, say, the Light;
The Tulips were the light’s receptacles.
These formal and illuminated flowers
Of Newton’s, Berkeley’s, and Spinoza’s day
No emblems are for us who’ve other dream
Than number and dimension, are no more
Accosted by the light: we see them now
In colored state and carven brilliancy,
The gold, the bronze, the red, the bright-swart Tulips!