The iconic poem 'My Country' was written in 1904 by poet and author Dorothea Mackellar (1885-1968) at the age of 19 while homesick in the United Kingdom. While Dorothea was born and raised in Sydney's Point Piper, she spent much time at her family properties in regional NSW - Gunnedah and a property (Torryburn) in the Hunter Region. Her time spent on the land was undoubtedly the inspiration for her writing, and 'My Country' is believed to have been inspired by witnessing the breaking of a drought when she was at Torryburn. 'My Country' has gone on be one of Australia's most quoted and loved poems, inspiring many. Convict Bags is an Australian brand to have taken more than just inspiration from the poem, the lining features a woven snippet of the My Country verse - by arrangement with the Licensor, The Dorothea Mackellar Estate, c/- Curtis Brown (Aust) Pty Ltd.

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Image: The Handwritten original of Mackellar’s poem, eventually titled ‘My Country’.
via Australian of the Universe

‘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 country
My homing thoughts will fly.

Dorothea Mackeller

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