Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote such well known poems as "Paul Revere's Ride," "The Song of Hiawatha" and "Evangeline." Longfellow's poems earned him one of the few spots held by American poets at the Westminster Abbey. He was inducted into the illustrious Poet's Corner there in 1884.
Longfellow's father tried to keep him from following writing as his career path by encouraging that he go into law, but his college offered him a position as a professor of languages and sent him to Europe to master all the romantic languages. He added additional languages as well, before coming back to the school to take up his new role as a professor. This travel inspired several poems released between 1831 and 1833, such as "A Pilgrimage Beyond the Sea." Longfellow's second visit to Europe where his wife died from complications after a miscarriage and later disappointments on the romance front spurred him to write a well known poem called "A Psalm of Life." This was just one of a set of poems about the lessons that Longfellow learned from the less pleasant moments in his life. The first time some of these wisdom-filled life poems were published, he was not compensated. However, the reaction from readers spurred him on to write and share more of his words, such as "Midnight Mass for a Dying Year" and "Footsteps of Angels."