Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Australia Day 2011

The second verse of this poem is really the one that is the one that is most well known, but I thought I would share the whole poem in honour of Australia Day this year.

My Country by Dorothy Mackellar

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.


  1. I remember singing this at school. The 'flood and fire and famine' is quite relevant at the moment...

    My favourite Aussie song (don't have a poem, sorry) is I Still Call Australia home. I get all misty eyed when they play it on Qantas on flights home (even though I don't love Qantas)!

    Have a good Australia Day!

  2. I Still Call Australia Home makes me tear up every time. It did especially when I lived in the UK for 5 years. Made me homesick whenever I heard it!

  3. My kids here in the US just had a singing concert with a patriotic theme, so they sang 5 or 6 patriotic songs, and I was wondering if other countries had the same sort of tradition.

    I mean, I know all countries have national anthems, but in Greece they don't have all that many songs about how great Greece is, or so it seems. They just have Greek songs.

    Happy Australia Day (belated now)

  4. Happy Australia Day, Marq. Love all my virtual friends from Down Under.

  5. Thanks Faye!

    Beth, there are a number of songs that really get the crown going - think maybe Born in the USA in terms of the sentiment. Some of the favourites are songs like I Still Call Australia Home.

  6. Oh I love this! I have never been to Australia, but this song makes me hunger to visit and see some of these amazing things!