Saturday, 22 November 2014

Dorothea MacKellar OAM

Photo via Wikipedia.

Dorothea MacKellar was born in Sydney NSW in 1885 a third generation in her family.
At the age of 22 (some documentations says 19) whilst in England she wrote the poem My Country which she is well known for.  Missing Australia, her beloved country out came the words with many alterations until the final verses were satisfactory.

My 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 coutnry
My homing thoughts will fly.    Dorothea Mackellar.

Gunnedah is where the Memorial below was unveiled in 1983 of Dorothea. I took the photo when passing through this year.


  1. I knew there as a good bit more to the poem than I knew but I did assume what I knew was the first verse and not the second.

    1. I always thought the second verse was the first..That is the only one I ever heard.

  2. Margaret it is very interesting paerson and a poem too. I didn't know about her ... Thank for sharing..

  3. I love that poem. I enjoyed seeing the memorial to Dorothea.

    1. The memorial is really nice in reality. Even the path has something written about her.

  4. Oh M that is a beautiful poem. I can see why she has the beautiful statue.Hug G

    1. It is a lovely poem. The second verse I think is the nicest and the one most of us know.

  5. I'll have to go looking to see what else is attributed to Miss Dorothea, Margaret. Neat statue.

  6. Oh this was interesting I liked this post she was an interesting woman


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