"On this deceptive mirror FANCY gaz'd; / For in its field she saw whate'er she pleas'd: / Whate'er in thought her fertile brain design'd, / (The varying labours of her changeful mind,) / Whate'er she wills, within its orb she spies, / True to her wish the airy visions rise."
— Rack, Edmund (1735-1787)
In gay attire, the goddess FANCY shone.
A vesture, dipt in Iris' brightest bow,
Flows o'er her limbs and floats in glitt'ring folds below:
With stars of gold was deck'd the beauteous vest;
And a bright zone confin'd her swelling breast.
A crown resplendent on her temples burn'd,
And glanc'd its lightning round, whene'er she turn'd.
In her right hand an ivory wand she held,
With subtile pow'r and strong enchantment fill'd.
Upon her left a gay chameleon play'd,
And ev'ry moment chang'd its varying shade:
Now black, then white, then crimson tints unfold:
Then sprinkled o'er with azure, green, and gold:
Still as she views, its vivid lustre flies;
Still as she views, new glowing tints arise.
Before the queen an oval mirror stands,
The curious labor of her active hands;
Ample its size; of wondrous texture wrought;
With pow'r endu'd, surpassing human thought.
Round the broad verge, emboss'd in figur'd gold,
The sun, the moon, and shining planets, roll'd:
In change perpetual, day and night arise;
Or clouds o'erspread, or sun-beams gild the skies.
On this deceptive mirror FANCY gaz'd;
For in its field she saw whate'er she pleas'd:
Whate'er in thought her fertile brain design'd,
(The varying labours of her changeful mind,)
Whate'er she wills, within its orb she spies,
True to her wish the airy visions rise.
The'historic walls unnumber'd scenes display'd,
With matchless art, compos'd of light and shade.
These, in their order to describe, require
The fervent heat of true poetic fire;
That fire which glow'd in Maro's tuneful page,
And blaz'd refulgent in the Grecian sage;
That Tasso felt, when magic scenes he drew;
Which Lucan thought he felt; and Ovid knew;
Which shone supreme in Milton's deathless lays,
And gain'd the mortal man immortal praise.
Poems on Several Subjects: By E. Rack. (London: Printed for Richardson and Urquhart, under the Royal-Exchange, and T. Letchworth, Number 33, Tooley-Street, Southwark, 1775). <Link to ESTC>