Thomas Chatterton 1765
Painter Henrietta Ward 1873
A fictional image of Chatterton working in his attic study on the "Thomas Rowley" poems
© Bristol's Museums, Galleries and Archives
The painting is on display at MShed Museum & Gallery Bristol England
An extract from one of Chatterton's modern poems:
'The Death of Nicou, an African Eclogue.'
On Tiber's banks, Tiber, whose waters glide
In slow meanders down to Gaigra's side;
And circling all the horrid mountain round,
Rushes impetuous to the deep profound;
Rolls o'er the ragged rocks with hideous yell;
Collects its waves beneath the earth's vast shell:
There for a while, in loud confusion hurl'd,
It crumbles mountains down and shakes the world.
Till born upon the pinions of the air,
Through the rent earth, the bursting waves appear;
Fiercely propell'd the whiten'd billows rise,
Break from the cavern, and ascend the skies:
Then lost and conquer'd by superior force,
Thro' hot Arabia holds its rapid course.
On Tiber's banks, where scarlet jasmines bloom,
And purple aloes shed a rich perfume:
Where, when the sun is melting in his heat,
The reeking tygers find a cool retreat;
Bask in the sedges, lose the sultry beam,
And wanton with their shadows in the stream,
. . . . (cont'd)
Chatterton's 'Rowley's Account of Bristol Artists and Writers'
The left hand figure shows a Chatterton 'Rowley' parchment. The right hand figure shows the parchment in printed form.
Source: British Library