Speak, thou vast and venerable head, muttered Ahab, which, though ungarnished with a beard, yet here and there lookest hoary with mosses
; speak, mighty head, and tell us the secret thing that is in thee.
She always went by way of the swamp; it was a lovely place -- a boggy soil, green with the greenest of mossy hillocks; a silvery brook meandered through it and spruces stood erectly, their boughs a-trail with gray-green mosses
, their roots overgrown with all sorts of woodland lovelinesses.
Brown or green, red or yellow mosses
and lichen spread their romantic tints on trees and seats and roofs and stones.
Lizzy, a black-eyed child of seven, looked very shy when her mother drew her forward, for the small Mosses
were much in awe of their uncle from Dorlcote Mill.
And so many twining branches, so many mosses
, bent by the bitter wind of ocean, so many lichens solder thy sepulcher to earth, that no passers-by will imagine such a block of granite could ever have been supported by the shoulders of one man.
So it was nearly sundown when they finally came to the trees; but now they found themselves in a most beautiful spot, the wide-spreading trees being covered with flowering vines and having soft mosses
Tree-ferns and mosses
and a myriad other parasitic forms jostled with gay-coloured fungoid growths for room to live, and the very atmosphere itself seemed to afford clinging space to airy fairy creepers, light and delicate as gem-dust, tremulous with microscopic blooms.
As she rode alone, the fronds of breast-high ferns seemed to caress her with outstretched and gently-detaining hands; strange wildflowers sprang up through the parting underbrush; even the granite rocks that at times pressed closely upon the trail appeared as if cushioned to her contact with star-rayed mosses
, or lightly flung after her long lassoes of delicate vines.
We were still in the pleasant shade of forest trees, we were still in a region which was cushioned with beautiful mosses
and aglow with the many-tinted luster of innumerable wild flowers.
It had the semblance of a pleasant meadow, whose slender grasses and whose velvety mosses
were frosted with a shining dust, and tinted with palest green that deepened gradually to the darkest hue of the orange leaf, and deepened yet again into gravest brown, then faded into orange, then into brightest gold, and culminated in the delicate pink of a new-blown rose.
The sun, darting his last rays beneath the masses of heaped-up cloud, adorned with a crest of gold the slightest inequalities of the ground below; gigantic trees, arborescent bushes, mosses
on the even surface--all had their share of this luminous effulgence.
"Growing between them I can see lovely ferns and wild-flowers, and soft green mosses
. If the rest of your world is half as beautiful I shall be glad I'm alive."