Saturday, December 16, 2006

Australia ..MY country.

My Country
Mackellar's notebook with first two verses
Enlarge
Mackellar's notebook with first two verses

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.

Dorothea Mackellar.

(it is, in fact, sickening that it took me many tries through Google search - to find those words. They are not very high on Gurgle's priority list. Click the title for more info.)

9 comments:

Deirdre said...

Michael Leunig takes some liberties with this in his cartoon in today's Sydney Morning Herald, p.36:

"I Love a Sunburnt Country
(with apologies to Dorothea Mackellar)

I love a sunburnt country
A land of sunburnt plains.
Of sunburnt mountain ranges
Of droughts and sunburnt rains.
I love sunburnt horizons
I love her sunburnt sea
Her sunburn and her sunburn
This sunburnt land for me."

Davo said...

mm, is Michael Leunig being ironic, sarcastic .. or just Michael Leunig? An enigma wrapped within a paradox.

Davo said...

and as for Mackellar.. can say no more.

Davo said...

yer, sorry D, have re-edited this one, slightly.

Davo said...

.. and, dammit, the comment "timestamp" isn't quite accurate as yet... bleah! Am still working on that one.

Deirdre said...

Huh? What's wrong with the timestamp? I'll have a look when I post this.

I couldn't work out what Leunig's story was either. I assume he's referring to something (... errr, probably something to do with "sunburnt"?) but not sure what. Bushfires? That's hardly sunburnt. I don't know.

Anonymous said...

A nice set of pics you posted.

"do you think we are wise enough to read God's mind?"

Na, they won't listen to me, they just think I'm an old crank.

Davo said...

That makes two of us, Billy B.

Anonymous said...

Ah, we are one. That is good. Now if we could just get rid of these brainwashed monkeys with all their religions. Hugs.