This poem is under copyright and to reproduce it, permission must be sought from the copyright owners
C/- Pippa Masson at Curtis Brown (Aust) Pty Ltd.  E-mail address (


A Gum Tree - typical Australian country-side.

Dorothea Mackellar - one of Australia's best loved poets and her beautiful lyric poem "My Country"

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Sadly this poem is sneered at by many and has been deliberately altered by others, but this poem says it all.  What it means to be Australian.  Perhaps the last verse is the most significant.

The first verse is referring to England where many of our first settlers came from.  The rest of the poem is of course about Australia.  There are versions of this poem in which  the first verse has been totally and deliberately deleted.  This is un-Australian and an insult to the poet, and an insult to our early English, Irish and European settlers and their descendants.

Please stop deliberately messing with Australian History.  We have not got much so let's try and keep what we do have as accurately as we can.

My Country
Dorothea Mackellar
(1885 - 1968)

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