Chapter 17: resignation of Professorship—to death of Mrs. Longfellow
On the last day of 1853, Longfellow
wrote in his diary, ‘How barren of all poetic production and even prose production this last year has been!
For 1853 I have absolutely nothing to show.
Really there has been nothing but the college work.
The family absorbs half the time, and letters and visits take out a huge cantle.’
Yet four days later he wrote, January 4, 1854, ‘Another day absorbed in the college.
But why complain?
These golden days are driven like nails into the fabric.
Who knows but they help it to hold fast and firm?’
On February 22, he writes, ‘You are not misinformed about my leaving the professorship.
I am ‘pawing to get free.’’ On his birthday, February 27, he writes, in the joy of approaching freedom, ‘I am curious to know what poetic victories, if any, will be won this year.’
On April 19 he writes, ‘At eleven o'clock in No. 6 University Hall, I delivered my last lecture—the last I shall ever deliver, here ’