Underground Rainbow

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! 

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

by Dorothea Mackeller
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