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: 185 × 108 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CVI 35 a

Catalogue entry

Written in pencil and ink, with lines sometimes repeated in both, Turner’s verses read:
[in pencil] Sweet the ... to the Bee
Sweet as the Arab shiny tree
Sweet the morning dew that shew
Or the wild Thyme sap winter bed
Sweet as the fragrant glade that blow[s]
By dewy morn oer opening rose
Sweet as the flower that calls the Bee
To revel deep in Luxury
Sweet as wild Thyme on Sunny bank
That morns first ray dew in hath drank
Such sweets does summer gaily pour
Oer Man & field thro hill and flower
That Man a thrill with
Sweet as the honey drop that shines
[in ink] Hail life returning balmy spring
Thy praise of Summers insects sing
Autumn. thy worth the field proclaim
All Natures chills at Winter’s name
This is another passage or variant passages from a poem about autumn, begun on folio 2 verso of the sketchbook (D07134). The text given here is based on the reading made by Rosalind Mallord Turner for the 1990 Tate exhibition. A more coherent version of the passage is on folio 36 (D07174).

David Blayney Brown
July 2010

Read full Catalogue entry

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