04 August 2013

The quote on Samuel Merrick's gravestone

On my trip to Rookwood Cemetery the other day we visited the grave of Samuel Merrick, as I knew there was an inscription in italics that I previously hadn't been able to decipher, but I thought my aunt and I together might have more success.

The engraving on this section of the gravestone was very worn, and very difficult to read, but in the end we managed to pick out enough words to work it out, with the help of Google!

Now the labourer's task is o'er
Now the battle day is past
Now upon the farther shore
Lands the voyager at last.
Father in thy gracious keeping
Leave we now thy servant sleeping.

The inscription is the first verse of the hymn "Now the labourer's task is o'er". It seems a very appropriate verse to have on Samuel's gravestone - he was a labourer - a bootmaker. I also like the imagery of the farther shore - this refers to heaven, but it also alludes to Samuel's own journey from Sligo, Ireland, to Sydney, Australia.


  1. I'm glad you figured it out Prue and as you say a nice, probably unintentional synchronicity with his earlier voyage.

  2. I'm glad I figured it out too Pauleen! I think the things people choose to put on gravestones can be very revealing about what is most important to them.