I Love A Sunburnt Country

A gentle reminder from Dorothea Mackellar

A big thanks to Dorothea Mackellar for this rigorous historical documentation of climate change, written before any real increases in industrial atmospheric carbon di-oxide, and before our modern, scientific understanding of the Indian Ocean Dipole or the El Nino Southern Oscillation.

It is time that our Prime Minister, the Chief Scientist, ABC presenters — including Tony Jones, Robyn “100 metres” Williams and Jon Faine — and all those other soppy green environmentalists with weak or wishful memories, reread this wonderful poem. I should remind them that the poem was written in 1906, just in case they think it was written about our recent, inexplicable ‘extreme’ weather events caused, according to these fools, by global warming.

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 drought 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 tragic ring-barked forests
Stark white beneath the moon,
The sapphire-misted mountains,
The hot gold hush of noon.
Green tangle of the brushes
Where lithe lianas coil,
An orchids deck the tree-tops
And ferns the crimson 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.

3 Responses to “I Love A Sunburnt Country”

  1. shawjonathan Says:

    It’s so nice to know that there are people who can confidently dismiss the consensus of scientists who have studied the data as fools. Yes, there have always been droughts and bushfires and floods. That says nothing at all about the evidence for human contribution to climate change.

  2. Andrew McIntyre Says:

    It is they who make the claims. As Christopher Hitchens once said about the religious, if they assert without evidence, then I can dismiss without evidence. The problem is that there IS no evidence. Read my latest blog. Just because CO2 is going up, and temperatures are going up only demonstrates a correlation. It in no way proves a causal link. This, in a sentence, is the problem. Read Lord Monkton in todays Australian.

  3. robert van der hope Says:

    We can go back further than Mackellar. Here’s a bit of Henry Lawson from the 1890’s: “The Teams” –

    “…With face half-hid ‘neath a broad-rimmed hat
    That shades from the heat’s white waves…”


    two verses on:

    “But the rains are heavy on roads like these;
    And, fronting his lonely home,
    For weeks together the settler sees
    The teams bogged down to the axletrees,
    Or ploughing the sodden loam.”

    Droughts and floods ? Yes, we notice them more now because more idiots have forgotten history and think they can live on flood plains, or farm in the Mallee.

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