Joseph Mallord William Turner

Verses (Inscriptions by Turner)

c.1808

View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms

Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 115 x 76 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D06724
Turner Bequest CII 2 a

Catalogue entry

For the longer draft poems to which Turner’s verses belong, see Introduction to the sketchbook and note to folio 1 verso (D06722). Finberg did not transcribe the verses on this leaf and the reading given here was first made by Rosalind Mallord Turner for the 1990 Tate exhibition:
Alas that Woman should so fear its sway
That against nature, nature should so obey
Alas that man should so deceitfull prove
That for thy show should so impatient rove
Change after change in Hypercritic Love
Should so neglect the breast that for him fears
Turn from that Eye for him oft wet with tears
Save for the last one or two lines, this passage seems to have been written first in pencil.

David Blayney Brown
March 2007

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