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 and graphite on paper
Support: 185 × 108 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CVI 35

Catalogue entry

Written in pencil and ink, with lines sometimes repeated in both, Turner’s verses read:
[in pencil] The parth of the sprightly fair oft trod
Proves to the labouring Swain and earthen log
[in pencil and ink] And seeking Nature fear they power
Deep thrilling feels each Evenings hour
That thrilling feels chilld with rain
That changes with rain chilling leaves
Each long draind pond pour o’er again
Far oer the Vale the edding leaves are hurled
Wide The chequered vale [heath inserted] shows nature Robe unfurld
Fell Winter soon the remaining leafs will shed
And snow and sleet press gently oer thy head
Till spring resumes her renovating store
Oer Man & fields the balmy influence pour
Each Embrio bud that wakes the torpid Bee
The blooming Orchard & the Hawthorn Tree
Gives life to Myriads Mark each narrow cell
Warm in the sunny ray contented seems to dwell
Hums or its little tune or soaring scans
The plodding cares vain toils of human hands
Till the revolving year brings Winter on again
And binds all Nature in a frozen chain
The sun burnt path where Children oft playd
With fancy newly got with vanity display’d
No sun parched cracks but deluged oer with rain
Proves treachorus to the step of labouring swain
This is another passage from a poem about autumn, begun on folio 2 verso of the sketchbook (D07134). The text given here is based on the reading made by Rosalind Mallord Turner for the 1990 Tate exhibition catalogue, where it is printed ahead of the verses from folio 34 verso (D07171).

David Blayney Brown
July 2010

Read full Catalogue entry

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