Saint Georges Cemetery, Newburgh, New York (five miles up the Hudson River from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point).

Jessie was the daughter of David Divie Bethune and Joanna Graham, granddaughter of Isabella Graham, sister to hymnist George W. Bethune, and niece of Scottish general Samuel Graham (1756–1831). At an early age, she married Dr. Robert McCartee, a Reformed Dutch minister in Goshen, New York. Her poetry appeared in newspapers and magazines close to her home.


Led by his God, on Pisgah’s height
The pilgrim-prophet stood—
When first fair Canaan blessed his sight
And Jordan’s crystal flood.

Behind him lay the desert ground
His weary feet had trod;
While Israel’s host encamped around,
Still guarded by their God.

With joy the agèd Moses smiled
On all his wanderings past,
While thus he poured his accents mild
Upon the mountain-blast:

“I see them all before me now—
The city and the plain,
From where bright Jordan’s waters flow,
To yonder boundless main.

“Oh! there the lovely promised land
With milk and honey flows;
Now, now, my weary, murmuring band
Shall find their sweet repose.

“There groves of palm and myrtle spread
O’er valleys fair and wide;
The lofty cedar rears its head
On every mountain-side.

“For them the rose of Sharon flings
Her fragrance on the gale;
And there the golden lily springs,
The lily of the vale.

“Amid the olive’s fruitful boughs
Is heard a song of love,
For there doth build and breathe her vows
The gentle turtle-dove.

“For them shall bloom the clustering vine,
The fig-tree shed her flowers,
The citron’s golden treasures shine
From out her greenest bowers.

“For them, for them, but not for me—
Their fruits I may not eat;
Not Jordan’s stream, nor yon bright sea,
Shall lave my pilgrim feet.

’Tis well, ’tis well, my task is done,
Since Israel’s sons are blest:
Father, receive thy dying one
To thine eternal rest.

Alone he bade the word farewell,
To God his spirit fled.
Now to your tents, O Israel,
And mourn your prophet dead!

Jessie Graham McCartee (1796–1855)

  1. Heavenly Song, The