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: 115 × 76 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CII 5

Catalogue entry

For the longer draft poems to which Turner’s verses belong, see Introduction to the sketchbook and note to folio 1 verso (D06722). 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:
Fell winter soon the r[e]maining leaves will shed
An[d] snow and sleet press gently oer thy head
Till Spring resumes her [chearing inserted] renovating store
Oer Man & fields her balmy influence pour
Each Embr[y]o bud that wakes the torpid bee
The blooming Orchard & the Hawthorn tree
Gives life to Myriads ... each narrow cell
Warm by the sunny ray contented dwells
[soaring scans inserted]
The plodding care vain toil of human Hands
Till the revolving year brings Winter on again
And binds all nature in a frozen Chain
Hail life returning balmy Spring
Thy praise O Summer insects sing
Autumn thy worth the fields proclaim
And Nature chills at Winters name

David Blayney Brown
March 2007

Read full Catalogue entry

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