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 75

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:
And for mere wealth might [?reply] cry Pope
when cost or nothing of matchless
nor virtue left to stop the [lifted steel]
That oer the manor now [tread weal]
lifts from those walls the [many beams tho bold]
The princely honor as in days of old
Whind the timbers and let in the day
And dancing sunbeam[s] now do play
On my low grot as in a [mere inserted] highway
I live the longer yet can think
But in Kind Thames shall hide [my woes]
Should ever Art as in the [nation saw]
Amidst the rude jar of deadly War
Hark the dread crash the fall
And of desolation to bury all
Ever the young victor gay in joy
and causes always this our alloy
Turner continues to mourn the loss 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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