Australia

The Colours of Light

The 26th January is a day of celebration for Australia, a day which we simply call “Australia Day”.

In honour of Australia Day, I would like to share a beautiful poem by the famous Australian, Dorothea Mackellar.

The Colours of Light ~ Dorothea Mackellar (1885 – 1968)

This is not easy to understand
For you that come from a distant land
Where all the colours are low in pitch –
Deep purples, emeralds deep and rich,
Where autumn’s flaming and summer’s green –
Here is a beauty you have not seen.

All is pitched in a higher key,
Lilac, topaz, and ivory,
Palest jade-green and pale clear blue
Like aquamarines that the sun shines through,
Golds and silvers, we have at will –
Silver and gold on each plain and hill,
Silver-green of the myall leaves,
Tawny gold of the garnered sheaves,
Silver rivers that silent slide,
Golden sands by the water-side,

Golden wattle, and golden broom,
Silver stars of the rosewood bloom;
Amber sunshine, and smoke-blue shade:
Opal colours that glow and fade;
On the gold of the upland grass
Blue cloud-shadows that swiftly pass;
Wood-smoke blown in an azure mist;
Hills of tenuous amethyst. . .

Oft the colours are pitched so high
The deepest note is the cobalt sky;
We have to wait till the sunset comes
For shades that feel like the beat of drums –
Or like organ notes in their rise and fall –
Purple and orange and cardinal,
Or the peacock-green that turns soft and slow
To peacock-blue as the great stars show . . .

Sugar-gum boles flushed to peach-blow pink;
Blue-gums, tall at the clearing’s brink;
Ivory pillars, their smooth fine slope
Dappled with delicate heliotrope;
Grey of the twisted mulga-roots;
Golden-bronze of the budding shoots;
Tints of the lichens that cling and spread,
Nile-green, primrose, and palest red . . .

Sheen of the bronze-wing; blue of the crane;
Fawn and pearl of the lyrebird’s train;
Cream of the plover; grey of the dove –
These are the hues of the land I love.

(Photo from Google Images)

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5 thoughts on “The Colours of Light

    1. Bo, thank you for stopping by! I took some pretty great photos today, actually the scenery was great and the colours so vivid, just as discribed in this poem. I could do with a better camera but I could never live up to yours and Robin’s photo skills! I’ll add some of them here over the next day or two.

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