J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Verses (Inscription by Turner) c.1808

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 13 Recto:
Verses (Inscription by Turner) circa 1808
Turner Bequest CII 13
Inscribed by Turner in pencil (see main catalogue entry) on white wove paper, 76 x 115 mm
Inscribed by John Ruskin in red ink ‘13’ bottom right
Stamped in black ‘CII 13’ bottom right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
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 first made by Rosalind Mallord Turner for the 1990 Tate exhibition:
Guard then that Lyre that every year raisd [fair] time
Strew riper weed upon his humble shrine
As raisd they blossom tho the year
The tunefull reeds that guerdon share
B[r]eathing whose care
Lest in responsive cadence to lyre
The silent reeds beneath Alexis wall
As elsewhere in the poems sketched out in this book, the lyre is that of James Thomson, poet of the Seasons (1730) and Alexis his fellow poet, Alexander Pope.

David Blayney Brown
March 2006

How to cite

David Blayney Brown, ‘Verses (Inscription by Turner) c.1808 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, March 2006, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, December 2012, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/joseph-mallord-william-turner-verses-inscription-by-turner-r1130838, accessed 21 June 2024.