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As Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807–1882), he became the most popular of American poets of the nineteenth century. He was an excellent teacher, first at Bowdoin and later presiding over the modern language program at Harvard for eighteen years. Longing for literary freedom, however, he left his post and began writing the poetry that captured the spirit and heart of America and the abiding flame of his guru, El Morya. It was his own soul of which Longfellow wrote in the narrative poem of the legendary Iroquois chief Hiawatha.