Joseph Mallord William Turner

Verses (Inscriptions by Turner)


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 163 × 92 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest XCVI 70

Catalogue entry

See note to folio 68 of the sketchbook (D06053) for background to these verses. Rosalind Mallord Turner’s reading published in the 1990 Tate catalogue is adopted here, with significant variations noted in square brackets:
When gathering clouds above welkin borne
And Edding leaves portend an approaching storm
Oft hope kind gleams shed by the west
And fires the cloud with glory not their own
Then the dark prospect of my present care
No toiling hand no breezes fan my hair
With strong potion stain – hope – appear
Unheard scorching sighs the more do to fear
For Some I'll morn or the lengthning Vale
retains the light while lengthning shadow fail
Around his head beams high the sacred fire
The weary ...& by Poetry her soul inspire
For vanity
Now all laws dispute
The right of nature lies in common scorn
When evening glimmer ray, yet [stormy] falls
The last line is written along the side of the leaf.

David Blayney Brown
October 2006

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