“I love a sunburnt country…” Dorothea MacKeller

…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.

Dorothea Mackeller

This is perhaps the most perfect poem that expresses how most, if not all, Australians feel about our country. This poem connects us to our feeling about our country. I cannot even add words to the beauty and expression of the poem, so I won’t. It expresses how all of us have felt watching the burning bush and the driving floods recently, that has provided some relief from drought. There are many more areas to our country than this, that are not affected by floods or droughts but our whole country feels the pain of these areas. It is like a breathing organism, a body, if one part suffers the whole body feels it. There are many landscapes in this land, our breathtaking, pristine beaches and peaceful, rainforest regions as well as ranging mountain areas. Australians are not always patriotic, but I believe we love our land. I am a European Australian but I do feel connected to our land here, and I always will. That’s all I can say. Suzanne 🙂

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