Dorothea Mackeller

(1885 - 1968)

My Country - Poem 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.


Comments about My Country by Dorothea Mackeller

  • (1/9/2018 1:36:00 AM)

    Everytime I remember my English brother-in-law's somewhat scathing comments about our beautiful but rather undisciplined garden, compared with his bare property in Birmingham, I think of this poem. I am 71 and of course learnt it at school, but the older I get, the more I find it encapsulates everything I love about our country! (Report) Reply

    1 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • (12/16/2017 6:21:00 PM)

    Lovely poem that stirs the imagination and emotions. (Report) Reply

  • (6/27/2017 11:21:00 PM)

    hi i wear huggies drynites nappy pants you (Report) Reply

  • (1/31/2017 4:58:00 AM)

    I think the first verse refers to England, therefore the 'grey-blue distance' is meant to be a contrast to 'far horizons' (Report) Reply

  • Rahman Henry (10/13/2015 12:11:00 AM)

    Lovely poem about motherland. Thanks a lot to share. (Report) Reply

  • Susan Williams (10/12/2015 2:00:00 PM)

    Grey-blue distance- -simple words but descriptive and descriptive of more than a physical quality. Yes, she did indeed love her country (Report) Reply

  • Akham Nilabirdhwaja Singh (10/12/2015 8:31:00 AM)

    I love a sunburn country -a very beautiful poem (Report) Reply

  • Kim Barney (10/12/2015 6:32:00 AM)

    A very lovely poem about her beloved Australia. Shame on the 64 voters so far who have only given this poem a rating of 6.7 out of ten. It deserves much higher than that! (Report) Reply

  • Seema Jayaraman (10/12/2015 2:40:00 AM)

    I luvd this poem.. such a beautifully created imagery depicting a colorful spiritually enriching countryside.. thanks for sharing. (Report) Reply

  • Edward Kofi Louis (10/12/2015 1:07:00 AM)

    To love a rich land. Nice work. (Report) Reply

  • Ramesh T A (10/12/2015 1:01:00 AM)

    The love is rich in the natural resources of the country that makes the poet his country very much! His passionate attachment is wonderfully reflected in this poem! (Report) Reply

  • (2/16/2013 12:13:00 AM)

    This is still the best poem to describe my country (Report) Reply

  • (9/11/2006 4:41:00 PM)

    one of my favourite poems about Australia, but the word 'ragged' in the second verse was originally written as 'rugged'. A check of the dictionary will show that 'rugged' is more appropriate

    John S
    (Report) Reply

  • (9/3/2006 8:56:00 PM)

    I think this is the best poem ever written about Australia. Dorothea had a love for this 'wide brown land' that I share myself. ' I love a sunburnt country' that one line says it all. Brilliant! (Report) Reply

  • (3/8/2006 2:08:00 AM)

    I love this poem! It tells people what Australia is all about, and how much we love it so. Dorothea Mackeller is one of the many poets who will be remembered thoughout history, for the amazing poems of Austalia they write and how much they love our country. Those who do not live in Australia cannot understand, but think of the love you have for your country, that is what myself and many others feel for Australia!
    (Report) Reply

Read all 15 comments »

# 421 poem on top 500 Poems

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Read poems about / on: rainbow, green, running, sick, tree, rain, moon, beauty, fire, sea, dark, sky, heart, love

Poem Submitted: Thursday, January 1, 2004

Poem Edited: Monday, September 22, 2008

[Report Error]