“The dawn is not distant,
Nor is the night starless;
Love is eternal!
God is still God, and
His faith shall not fail us;
Christ is eternal!”
— Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
The above quote was taken from Tales of a Wayside Inn, a collection of poems by American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. The book, published in 1863, depicts a group of people at the Wayside Inn in Sudbury, Massachusetts as each tells a story in the form of a poem.
He wore his trademark beard not because of any fashion sense, but for a heartbreaking reason.
After a seven-year courtship, Longfellow married Frances Appleton in 1843. He and Fanny had six children: Charles Appleton (1844–1893), Ernest Wadsworth (1845–1921), Fanny (1847–1848), Alice Mary (1850–1928), Edith (1853–1915), and Anne Allegra (1855–1934).
On July 9, 1861, while putting locks of her children’s hair into an envelope and sealing it with hot sealing wax, her dress accidentally caught fire. Longfellow tried to put out the flames with his own body, but she was already badly burned. She died the next day. Longfellow, in trying to save her, had burned himself, and sustained injuries in his face and hands. His facial injuries made it difficult for him to shave, which led him to wear the beard which became his trademark.