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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

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

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 5 Recto:
Verses (Inscriptions by Turner) circa 1808
Turner Bequest CII 5
Inscribed by Turner in ink (see main catalogue entry) on white wove paper, 115 x 76 mm
Inscribed by John Ruskin in red ink ‘5’ bottom left, descending vertically
Stamped in black ‘CII 5’ bottom left, descending vertically
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 and note to folio 1 verso (D06722). 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:
Fell winter soon the r[e]maining leaves will shed
An[d] snow and sleet press gently oer thy head
Till Spring resumes her [chearing inserted] renovating store
Oer Man & fields her balmy influence pour
Each Embr[y]o bud that wakes the torpid bee
The blooming Orchard & the Hawthorn tree
Gives life to Myriads ... each narrow cell
Warm by the sunny ray contented dwells
[soaring scans inserted]
The plodding care vain toil of human Hands
Till the revolving year brings Winter on again
And binds all nature in a frozen Chain
Hail life returning balmy Spring
Thy praise O Summer insects sing
Autumn thy worth the fields proclaim
And Nature chills at Winters name

David Blayney Brown
March 2007

How to cite

David Blayney Brown, ‘Verses (Inscriptions by Turner) c.1808 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-inscriptions-by-turner-r1130822, accessed 24 June 2024.