Joseph Mallord William Turner

Verse: ‘Discarded London...’ (Inscription by Turner)


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Support: 110 x 178 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CXXIX 18

Catalogue entry

Written from left to right down the page, and continued from folio 17 recto (D09078), preceding, Turner’s inscription reads:
Or scattered as the leaves of Autumn heaped around
Tell too loudly all impending fate
That some days these Vegetating powers
Called by the quickening sun ^seems to tender shoots
Through the hard ^brown rind which brave[s] the Winter frosts
And pendant isciles [i.e. icicles] gleam the first of green
Gay livery of the groves that coiling [?curling] runs
Round vegetation in her varing course
From the banefull nights shade dark entwined
In the low quickset to the topmost bough
That yelling in the breeze of alpine heights
Bears the grey Lichen midst the upmost storm
Where ed[dy]ing snows and cracking Glaciers fall
Wide willowing ^dealing round distruction
To the calm sunny vale when summer binds
Her auburn ringlets by the yellow gourd
That lost by brightness yields the conquest power’ 1
See notes to D09078 for Turner’s themes and their likely debt to James Thomson’s Seasons.
The transcription here is indebted to, but differs in a number of respects from that offered by Rosalind Mallord Turner in Wilton and Mallord Turner 1990.

David Hill
October 2008

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