Joseph Mallord William Turner

Verses (Inscription by Turner)


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Ink on paper
Support: 76 × 115 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CII 11 a

Catalogue entry

For the longer draft poems to which Turner’s verses belong, see Introduction to the sketchbook, and notes to folios 10 verso, 11 and 12 (D06740, D06741, D06743) which have variants of these lines. Here they follow what must be the intended title of the lyric poem to which they belong, on the destruction of Alexander Pope’s villa at Twickenham in 1807 and James Thomson, poet of the Seasons (1730). Unlike most of the poetry in this sketchbook, the lines on this leaf were transcribed by Finberg, and then by Rosalind Mallord Turner whose reading for the 1990 Tate exhibition is given here:
Invocation of Thames to the Seasons
upon the Demolition of Pope’s House.
O Seasons fair, guard Thompson Shrine
He sung the charms of Seasons [ver[n]al inserted] prime
With watery-may his bays entwine
While Phebus oer our Vallies shine
High then the Coral Shell yet fill
With distant Thames’ translucent rill
With Memory sweet and truest thrill
Yet his lyre with Summers breezes fill

David Blayney Brown
March 2007

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