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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Verses (Inscriptions by Turner) c.1807-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 72 Verso:
Verses (Inscriptions by Turner) circa 1807–8
Turner Bequest XCVI 70a
Inscribed by Turner in pencil (see main catalogue entry) on white laid paper, 163 x 92 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
See note to folio 68 of the sketchbook (D06053) for background to these verses. Rosalind Mallord Turner’s reading published in the 1990 Tate catalogue is adopted here, with significant variations noted in square brackets:
Unhoused unfriended pelted by the Shower
Like the torn
Her heavy sigh with sad rember[ance]
When the poor lamb caught in the thorn
Which shelter gave with [?wool] to roll
Midwinter so niggard like bare insidious shades
Denys return [given inserted] its tender [fleece inserted] sides invades
When [?fierce] Aquarius reigns thr]o half the pole
At first rate judgement sooner bought [the land inserted ]
Each like thrilling shout the pregnant [shrill inserted] strand
Placd at your board or in the sunshine play
The parting crew as cravd like on ...lease
The wriggling salmon each though both pleases [Turner: praises]
Useless as thistles ... shew arts sister land
Stick to them alike oer its surface flee
as the dawn by every window creep
Glorious Wreck
Alas perhaps or soil of generous mould
No flimsy [Turner: fishy] cotton [muslin] but the arts open cold
Warm to the ray of arts but soon grow cold
but warm fallows
The weedy mischief all his treasure binds
Thomson or the whole the fresh Earth Wind
The last line names James Thomson, poet of The Seasons (1730).

David Blayney Brown
October 2006

How to cite

David Blayney Brown, ‘Verses (Inscriptions by Turner) c.1807–8 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, October 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-inscriptions-by-turner-r1130238, accessed 19 January 2022.