Author's/editor's note: 'Among the few who died in June 1794, was a convict of the name of Gillies. His death took place on the morning of the Speedy's arrival from England; by which ship a letter was received addressed to him, admonishing him of the uncertainy of life, recommending him early to think of the end of it, and acquainting him with the death of his wife, a child, and two other near relations. He had ceased to breathe a few moments before this distressful intelligence would otherwise have reached him.' Collins' History of New South Wales, chap.13.
These verses were suggested by the above paragraph, though it will be seen the writer has not confined himself to the facts, as therein related.
[AustLit note: The book title referred to is Lieutenant David Collins's An Account of the English Colony in New South Wales. The correct chapter reference is chapter 27. The convict who is the subject of the poem is probably Peter Gillies who died on 8 June 1974 and was buried at the Old Sydney Burial Ground.]