Dorothea Mackellar

Flower and Thorn

Black the storm-wind rides the sky, all the leaves are torn,
Briers upon the common stand stripped to stick and thorn;
Thorny is the brier, thorny is the brier,
Mother Mary, keep me safe, give me my desire!

Now the winter rains have gone, Heaven’s washed and clean,
All the brooks are laughing sweet, all the trees are green;
Leafy is the brier, leafy is the brier,
Mother Mary in the sky, grant me my desire!

Summer’s yellow on the land, throbbing warm and live,
Hear her million voices hum like a lucky hive;
Blossom of the brier, blossom of the brier,
Mary in the summertime, give me my desire!

All the talking winds are stilled in the autumn pause,
Redder far than blood or fire blaze the hips and haws;
Fruiting of the brier, fruiting of the brier—
Mother Mary, must I die starved of my desire?