Our Featured Poem this week comes from that old Romantic William Wordsworth but it’s not the daffodils – we’re looking skyward this time with The Rainbow.
Born in 1770, both William Wordsworth’s parents died before he was 15, and he and his four siblings were left in the care of different relatives. As a young man, Wordsworth developed a love of nature, a theme reflected in many of his poems.
He began to write poetry while he was at school, but didn’t have anything published until 1793.
My Heart Leaps Up, or The Rainbow as it is also known, was written on the night of March 26, 1802, when Wordsworth was staying in Grasmere in the Lake District. The poem was published as part of Poems, in Two Volumes in 1807. The last three lines of The Rainbow also feature in the epigraph of Wordsworth’s better known Ode: Imitations of Immortality which he began writing the day after completing The Rainbow.
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;
I could wish my days to be
Bound each to each by natural piety.
by William Wordsworth