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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Verses (Inscription by Turner) c.1808-9

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 14 Recto:
Verses (Inscription by Turner) circa 1808–9
Turner Bequest CII 14
Inscribed by Turner in ink (see main catalogue entry) on white wove paper, 76 x 115 mm
Inscribed by John Ruskin in red ink ‘14’ bottom right
Stamped in black ‘CII 14’ 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, an alternative version of those on folios 13 verso and 55 (D06746, D06828). See note to folio 13 verso for comment. The reading given here was first made by Rosalind Mallord Turner for the 1990 Tate exhibition:
O gentle Spring yet [with inserted] renovating fire
Snatch from Twickenhams shore the tuneful reed
Wove with the Laurel crown the Poets mead
Alexis reed
To trip responsive cadence to his Lyre
In Summers ardent blush properly give
Thy many blossoms shield with generous care
While Phebus pours [around inserted] the sultry glare
In thy soft breezes let his verses live
Thy nodding poppies Autumn kindly weave
O Benefactress of the passing year
those strings have [often inserted trembled with thy care
Check not their sweetness with the falling leaf

David Blayney Brown
March 2007

How to cite

David Blayney Brown, ‘Verses (Inscription by Turner) c.1808–9 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, March 2007, 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-r1130840, accessed 21 June 2024.