Saturday, February 22, 2020
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    My Country by Dorothea Mackeller

     

    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!

    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 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 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.

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