Dorothea Mackellar




             My Country

     The love of field and coppice 
       Of green and shaded lanes, 
   Of ordered woods and gardens 
        Is running in your veins. 
 Strong love of grey-blue distance, 
Brown streams and soft, dim skies 
       I know, but cannot share it, 
          My love is otherwise. 

    I love a sunburnt country, 
    A land of sweeping plains, 
  Of ragged mountain ranges, 
Of droughts and flooding rains. 
       I love her far horizons, 
         I love her jewel-sea, 
    Her beauty and her terror 
   The wide brown land for me! 

A stark white ring-barked forests, 
        All tragic to the moon, 
The sapphire-misted mountains, 
     The hot gold hush of noon, 
   Green tangle of the brushes 
        Where lithe lianas coil, 
 And orchids deck the tree-tops, 
  And ferns the warm dark soil. 

   Core of my heart, my country! 
          Her pitiless blue sky, 
   When, sick at heart, around us 
        We see the cattle die 
But then the grey clouds gather, 
        And we can bless again 
     The drumming of an army, 
       The steady soaking rain. 

Core of my heart, my country! 
    Land of the rainbow gold, 
For flood and fire and famine 
   She pays us back threefold. 
     Over the thirsty paddocks, 
        Watch, after many days, 
      The filmy veil of greenness 
       That thickens as we gaze.

         An opal-hearted country, 
             A willful, lavish land 
    All you who have not loved her, 
          You will not understand 
Though Earth holds many splendours, 
             Wherever I may die, 
      I know to what brown country 
       My homing thoughts will fly.