Verse > Anthologies > Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. > Poems of Places > Asia
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed.  Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Asia: Vols. XXI–XXIII.  1876–79.
Syria: Nebo, the Mount
Mount Nebo
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        5
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        10
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,        15
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,        20
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,        25
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!        30
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        35
Thy brother Aaron, who with thee once sinned
So grievously at Meribah.”

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