I love A Sun Burnt Country

The most iconic poem ever written about Australia – ever. Originally called “Core Of My Heart” but that name didn’t stick. Dorothea MacKellar wrote the poem after living back in England and became homesick for her beloved Australia. As the poem quite rightfully states, unless you understand Australia you will never love it properly. Those that do understand Australia are the most patriotic of people and will defend this country with their lives. As many have done.

Listen to Dorothea herself recite it, and read the words below. If you have heard the name Mackellar before yes its quite famous. The Federal seat of Mackellar which is generally in the Forestville/Roseville area of Sydney and the seat held by former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott. There is MacKellar girls high school in Campbell Parade in Manly Vale Sydney. There are other things. We honour you Dorothea.

Dorothea 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.


Dorothea Mackeller

Elect one clown and you will get the whole circus

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