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 13

Catalogue entry

For the longer draft poems to which Turner’s verses belong, see Introduction to the sketchbook. 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:
Guard then that Lyre that every year raisd [fair] time
Strew riper weed upon his humble shrine
As raisd they blossom tho the year
The tunefull reeds that guerdon share
B[r]eathing whose care
Lest in responsive cadence to lyre
The silent reeds beneath Alexis wall
As elsewhere in the poems sketched out in this book, the lyre is that of James Thomson, poet of the Seasons (1730) and Alexis his fellow poet, Alexander Pope.

David Blayney Brown
March 2006

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