Here’s a poem from the gravestone of a many greats grandfather of mine, in a cemetary in New Hampshire. He died 1798 and was buried in a Congregational church graveyard.
Generally, the letter “s” is written like the letter “f” if it doesn’t appear last in a word. On the stones I’ve looked at, sometimes there is a subtle difference, like a crossing line in the middle height of the “f” but only the left half of that line in the “s”. But in this stone these characters aren’t distinguishable in any way I could find after some study and comparison of the obvious cases.
The poem appears thus:
In the cold manfions of the filent tomb,
How ftill the folitude, how deep the gloom.
Here fleeps the duft unconfcious dofe confind.
But far diftant dwells the immortal mind.
Most of it is obvious, but what is the end of the third line? Is it “dose” or some word “dofe” I never heard? Is it “confined” or “consigned”?
The stone’s in excellent shape and it is not hard to make out the letters at all. I think the only confusions are about which cases of apparent “f” mean “s”, and what unfamiliar words or spellings are being used.