"The sexton stood in the porch of Milford meeting-house, pulling busily at the bell-rope. The old people of the village came stooping along the street... 'But what has good Parson Hooper got upon his face?' cried the sexton in astonishment."
"Mr. Hooper had on a black veil... With this gloomy shade before him, good Mr. Hooper walked onward, at a slow and quiet pace"
"That night, the handsomest couple in Milford village were to be joined in wedlock... When Mr. Hooper came, the first thing their eyes rested on was the same horrible black veil, which had added deeper gloom to the funeral and could portend nothing but evil to the wedding."
"All through life that piece of crape had hung between [Mr. Hooper] and the world: it had separated him from cheerful brotherhood and woman's love, and kept him in the saddest of all prisons, his own heart; and still it lay upon his face, as if to shade him from the sunshine of eternity."
"'Why do you tremble at me alone?' cried he, turning his veiled face round the circle of pale spectators. 'Tremble also at each other! Have men avoided me, and women shown no pity, and children screamed and fled, only for my black veil... I look around me, and lo! on every visage a Black Veil!'"
"Still veiled, they laid him in his coffin, and a veiled corpse they bore him to the grave. The grass of many years has sprung up and withered on that grave, the burial stone is moss-grown, and good Mr. Hooper's face is dust; but awful is still the thought that it mouldered beneath the Black Veil!"