It is recorded, as an old superstition, that the grass along the way, by which
a Martyr had gone to execution, always afterwards remained paler than other
grass; and it was the same with whatever tree or shrub chanced to grow there--the
foliage would never wear a gladsome green. Were there any truth in this, there
is more than one foot track in New England, where the grass ought to look pale,
in spite of the rain and dew of ages. Boston, if grass grew in its streets,
would show such a pathway, leading from the ancient prison place to the gibbet
of the Quakers--a pale wavy line would be drawn across some of the green fields
of Connecticut--and for Salem, there would be a blighted track, up Gallows Hill,
as broad as the highway. But there are many, whose whole walk through life is
a path of martyrdom; who are the martyrs of uncharitableness, which does not
indeed kill the body, but grieves the heart; and yet the grass is none the paler,
where their feet have been.
Source: Nathaniel Hawthorne. The American Magazine of Useful and Entertaining
Knowledge. (May, 1836): 394.