Dorothea McKellar

Dorothea wrote the very famous poem "My Country". It used to be a standard in schools and many Australians know and love this work. Amazingly enough, many people think the poem starts with the words of the second verse! Have a look and see if you knew the first verse.

My Country

The love of field and coppice
Of green and shaded lanes
Of ordered woods and gardens
Is running through 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

The 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 the 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 wilful, 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.

Dorothea Mackellar