Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882) is one America’s most famous poets. Among his works is a poem titled, “Psalm of Life.” It speaks to the nature of teachers.
In the first stanza, Longfellow writes of a meaning of life.
Tell me not, in mournful numbers,
Life is but a dream! –
For the soul is dead that slumbers,
And things are not what they seem.
Life is real! Life is earnest!
And the grave is not its goal;
Dust thou art, to dust returnest,
Was not spoken of the soul.
In the fourth stanza, the poet calls the reader to action.
In the world’s broad field of battle,
In the bivouac of Life,
Be a hero in the strife!
And that is who teachers are: heroes in the strife.