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15 Jan 2008 1,600 views
 
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photoblog image Of Droughts and Flooding Rains

Of Droughts and Flooding Rains

                                                                   

My Country

by Dorothea McKellar


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 McKellar was born in 1885 and wrote this poem when she was 19. The first verse refers to the UK. The second verse is probably the most well known by most Australians.

This is the road I usually take to work. 

Of Droughts and Flooding Rains

                                                                   

My Country

by Dorothea McKellar


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 McKellar was born in 1885 and wrote this poem when she was 19. The first verse refers to the UK. The second verse is probably the most well known by most Australians.

This is the road I usually take to work. 

comments (16)

  • Martin
  • United States
  • 15 Jan 2008, 00:28
That looks a little wet. I didn't realize you guy were currently having interesting weather down there. Did you swim or take a detour?
Aussie: Very interesting all over the country, dry and extremely hot in the southern states. Cyclones in the Northern Territory and Western Australia Tonight it's flooding in Northern Queensland, Here drizzly rain that is just making it a bit humid. Took the back road detour. The next day the road was cut in more places and I had to really plan out a viable route.
  • Ginnie
  • United States
  • 15 Jan 2008, 05:09
That is one beautiful homage in a poem by a 19-year-old woman, Aussie! Wow. It just flows from the tongue...like these waters of flooding rains.

I'm guessing in such times you have to know the alternative route! What a spectacle.
Aussie: It hasn't flooded like this since 1991 and Luckily the alernate route is no where near the river so the road on gets a bit wet from the rain.
  • tim
  • leeds, uk
  • 15 Jan 2008, 07:41
well she is right about the dim skys for sure Aussie, and i guess you had the day off thensmile
Aussie: No I went to work, if you can't make it they pay you as long as you can prove there was no alternative.
  • Tracy
  • Stoke on Trent UK
  • 15 Jan 2008, 07:57
Love the poem Aussie its fantastic.smile

Now I understand when you told me you took another route home from work the other week!!tongue
Aussie: This has always been my favourite poem about our country and it would have been one of the first we had to learn at school.
  • Ann
  • Suc sur Erdre - France
  • 15 Jan 2008, 08:09
A new lake in the middle of the city ... Atmosphere well captured !!!
Aussie: And it was such a pretty lake around the corner where heaps of water birds came to enjoy all the water.
  • Kathryn
  • Germany
  • 15 Jan 2008, 09:44
Where in AU are you? I, like Martin, did not realize the extent of the rains there. Is this typical or an effect of global warming?
Aussie: Queensland which is one of the northern states, our climate ranges from subtropial in the south and tropical in the north of the state. This weather was typical in the summer before we went into a long term drought in the south of the state.
  • Louis
  • South Africa
  • 15 Jan 2008, 10:19
Beautiful sunburnt country grin
It is so like over here. We are having a good rain season. Even some little flooding. Dams are full. But that is this year.

Great picture and poem.
Aussie: This was out typical wet season before the drought really started to bite.
Very nice poem Aussie.
I hope the detour to go to work hasn't been too long!
Aussie: The detour only added a little bit, it is just a lot smaller road so you have to go slower.
  • Nigel Clack
  • a big puddle in Gloucester
  • 15 Jan 2008, 11:36
Been there doing thatgrin
Aussie: Yes, but usually you are doing more often than us.
  • vintage
  • Australia
  • 15 Jan 2008, 11:38
Aussie great photo I know the poem like you I think the photo and poem make a great statement about australia very well done
Aussie: Thank you Vintage and it's raining again here.
Nice sight of a flood smile
Rainy days there isn't it smile ?
Aussie: Yes and the rain is still comming down but just softly now.
  • Bill Phillips
  • Droitwich..wet, grey, miserable
  • 15 Jan 2008, 13:02
I haven't seen this poem before, but it made me think of the Nevil Shute books like In the wet and a town like Alice. We had a lot of flooding this past "summer" and with the rain we are having lately we could be getting some more.
Aussie: Two of my favourite books from my youth (almost ancient history).
  • gale
  • Cape of storms
  • 15 Jan 2008, 17:05
I LOVE the poem... 19 years old - a very wise soul. How did you discover her?
We have recently had weather like this .. Global warming is alive and here to remind us!!!.
The poem works for Africa as well!
Aussie: This is a poem we had to learn at school. I thought it would probably suit yours as well.
  • anniedog
  • Great Britain (UK)
  • 15 Jan 2008, 17:55
The dog is the only sensible one - he has turned on his heels, whilst the people just stand and look helplessly! Nice capture.
Ingrid
Aussie: There were heaps of people having a look. It was quite the Sunday outing for some.
  • Blackdog
  • On the dreaded dial up again!
  • 15 Jan 2008, 21:05
Not read the poem before, so thanks for that. As for the weather, we seem to have nothing but wind rain and flooding in the West Country (Bath is appropriately named)at the moment. So I can sympathise with the disruption you are having to put up with ;o)
Aussie: It rained in Bath both times I was there.
Amazing! I hope that you have not had personal problems with this amount of water!
Aussie: No, this is not near my home it is the raod I usually take to work.

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