By Albert Bigelow Paine
The long, gray moss that softly swings
In solemn grandeur from the trees,
Like mournful funeral draperies,--
A brown-winged bird that never sings.
A shallow, stagnant, inland sea,
Where rank swamp grasses wave, and where
A deadliness lurks in the air,--
A sere leaf falling silently.
The death-like calm on every hand,
That one might deem it sin to break,
So pure, so perfect,--these things make
The mournful beauty of this land.