My purse is thin tonight, and O the rain
Weeps down in torrents, and the east wind sighs,
Bidding the naughty world to lachrymize
For all the teacher’s horrid, unpaid pain,
His check book’s anguish, and the dolorous train
Of mental sufferings that agonize
The devotee of youth before whose eyes
Rises the Vision of the Raise in vain!
Pour then, ye torrents, and ye winds complain!
Fair weather would be bittersweet to me
And all the loveliness of sunny skies
A heartache. O let sun and stars disdain
To look on men till taxing gods devise
A cure for all the teacher’s misery!
An English teacher at Central High School when this poem—pseudonymously signed “A mere pedagogue”—appeared in the Newark Evening News of February 22, 1919, William Lewin later served as president of the Schoolmen’s Club, which raised funds to place historic markers around the city. He authored pamphlets on historic subjects, and promoted the educational value of motion pictures both in Newark and nationally.