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: 92 × 163 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest XCVI 71 a

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:
O lost to honor and the sense of shame
Can Britain so forget his [Popes] well earnd fame
To desolation doom the poet[’s] fane
The pride of T[wickenham’s] bower and silver Thames
lost book
That charm his Summer hours be forgot
Mark my sister Isis all my tears
Yes silver Sister Isis join my woe
Let scorn wound not lily’s gilded brow
By your dear banks may I follow
where silvery beams do fall
To us thy claim
Tho ... it[s] desolated walls
To us rembrance hangs worth with double claim
Tho an ungrateful country may forget thy name
The ‘desolated walls’ are those of Alexander Pope’s villa at Twickenham, demolished in 1807; see also, chiefly, folio 45 (D06015).

David Blayney Brown
October 2006

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