Australian Bush Poetry Fond Memories:

This is a popular Australian poem, it sums up my feelings for the 'wide brown land' perfectly. As an Aussie girl who grew up on a sheep and cattle property and also spent a year on a 300,000 acre station in Alice Springs. The words resonate and capture my deep love for a land that is both beautiful and brutal.

I Love A Sunburnt Country

  • 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!

  • A stark white ring-barked forest

    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

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