Exquisite mosses, so lovely and green,
Covering the rocks with emerald sheen;
Hiding the scars which convulsions have made;
Blessing the mound where our angel was laid;
Forming a carpet on which we may tread;
Clothing with beauty the rotten and dead;
Sheathing from storm-blasts the young forest tree–
Beautiful mosses, examples for me.
Trod under foot by all kinds of men;
Gracing the mountain or hid in the fen;
Never adorning the brow of the fair;
Seldom deemed worthy some corner to share
In the bouquets that are cast in the way
Princely feet tread on reception’s proud day;
The glory of roses do not attain;
Beautiful mosses, ye grow not in vain.
Answer the end by your Maker designed.
Humble your bloom, but your mission is kind.
Those will most prize you who knew you the best.
Cover me o’er when I lie down to rest;
Cover, likewise, in the marble my name,
Hiding forever that index of shame;
But tell to the world, “as life he passed through,
He covered some scars and aimed to be true.”