Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Asia: Vols. XXI–XXIII. 1876–79.

Syria: Nebo, the Mount

Mount Nebo

By George Gordon McCrae (1833–1927)

(From The Man in the Iron Mask)

SO Moses, servant of the Lord, died there,

Out in the land of Moab, as the Lord

Had spoken. He buried him, also,

Over against Beth-peor, in a vale

Of Moab; but, unto this day, no man

Knoweth his sepulchre, nor yet can tell

Where Moses, servant of the Lord, is laid.


Now ere he died, we read that Moses clomb

(The Holy Spirit moving him thereto)

Up from the plain of Moab to the mount

Called Nebo, from a lofty peak whereof—

The towering peak of Pisgah—God the Lord

Showed him (yea! even from Pisgah that o’erlooks

The walled and towered pride of Jericho)

The land of Gilead stretching out to Dan,

And all of Naphtali and Ephraim,

Manasseh and all Judah’s wide expanse

Unto the utmost sea:

The balmy-breathing south,—the fertile plain

Of Jericho, the palm-tree city hight,

In one glad dream of beauty unto Zoar!

And when the servant of the Lord had looked

One eagle-look on that fair map below

(As he was bid), thus spake to him the Lord:

“This is the land I sware to Abraham,

To Isaac, and to Jacob when I said,

‘Lo! I will give it for an heritage

For thee and thine, and for thy seed for aye.’

Now have I causéd thee to look on it,

And see it with thine eyes; yet know, O man!

That never from this awful peak shalt thou,

Descending, cross unto those pleasant plains

Thus fully to possess them. Thou shalt die

Here,—where thou standest, and be gathered in

Unto thy people,—as upon Mount Hor

Thy brother Aaron, who with thee once sinned

So grievously at Meribah.”