It is possible that the author is writing about his own life in this poem on death. The text of the poem, incorporated into a letter addressed to a 'Mr Stevenson', was found among Michael's personal effects following his death by drowning. The letter, dated Christmas 1867, includes instructions to be carried out in the event of Michael's death.
Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of
Alternative title:Christmas 1867 First known date:1867
The variant title 'Christmas 1867' appears in The Sydney Morning Herald and James Lionel Michael: A Comprehensive Bibliography. The title is probably due to a misplacement of the date of composition of a letter, in which the poem was included, to Mr Stevenson. (See the version of the letter and poem published in The Empire for comparison.)