Joseph Mallord William Turner

Verses (Inscriptions by Turner)


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Ink and graphite on paper
Support: 115 × 76 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CII 40

Catalogue entry

For the longer draft poems to which Turner’s verses belong, see Introduction to the sketchbook. Finberg did not transcribe the verses on this leaf, and the reading given here was made by Rosalind Mallord Turner for the 1990 Tate exhibition. The first five lines are written in ink, near the gutter, the remaining four in pencil near the foredge:
But nature with her care renew
Nature kindly will renew
Thy strings with music & with touches true
Till natures pours anew
Thy sweets with tenderest touches true
The dewy drops on thy tomb never fade
but Popes lost mansion sank into the ground
Sure memory still unto [?their] worth adheres
Then let that honor on the[e] long be found
Turner alludes to the demolished villa of Alexander Pope at Twickenham, and the poetic harp or lyre.

David Blayney Brown
March 2007

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