Joseph Mallord William Turner

Verses (Inscription by Turner)


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 76 × 115 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CII 7

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:
Say Friendship and accept a thought tho wild
of him who long has struggled to impart
His love of nature and meek natures child
Alex’s’ reed no more this minstrelsy playd
Sweet in the pastoral dignity of Twick[enham] glad[e]
The honord mansion gone [?Rich.] that cheer the Eye
And silver Thames flow dull & Sullen by
The ‘honord mansion gone’ is the Twickenham villa of the poet Alexander Pope – figured here by ‘Alex’ – demolished by its new owner Baroness Howe in 1807; see Introduction to the sketchbook for background and related work.

David Blayney Brown
March 2007

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