My Heart Leaps Up
William Wordsworth, 1802
My heart leaps up when I behold
A rainbow in the sky:
So was it when my life began,
So is it now I am a man,
So be it when I shall grow old
Or let me die!
The child is father of the man:
And I could wish my days to be
Bound each to each by natural piety.
A Fine Picture—Robert S. Duncanson became the first African American artist to gain international reputation. He painted this idealized Ohio landscape shortly before the outbreak of the American Civil War.
A Little Poetry—Wordsworth wrote this poem on the night of March 26, 1802. The day after, he began writing his much longer and better-known Ode: Intimations of Immortality. The last three lines of this poem reappear as an epigraph to the Ode. After writing “My Heart Leaps Up,” Wordsworth often thought of altering the poem, but published it as originally written in 1807.