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The Birks of Invermay

[ Roud 3858 ; David Mallet]

The Birks of Invermay is a poem by David Mallet (c. 1705-1765). If was set to music by Joseph Haydn (Hob. XXXIa, no. 187).

Karine Polwart sang Birks of Invermay in 2007 on her CD Fairest Floo'er.

Lyrics

David Mallet's poem The Birks of Invermay

The smiling morn, the breathing spring,
Invite the tuneful birds to sing,
And while they warble from each spray,
Love melts the universal lay.
Let us, Amanda, timely wise,
Like them improve the hour that flies,
And in soft raptures waste the day
Amang the birks of Invermay.

For soon the winter of the year,
And age, life’s winter, will appear;
At this, thy living bloom will fade,
As that will nip the vernal shade;
Our taste of pleasure then is o’er,
The feathered songsters are no more;
And when they droop, and we decay,
Adieu the birks of Invermay.

The laverock now and lintwhite sing,
The rocks around with echoes ring;
The mavis and the blackbird gay
In tuneful strains now glad the day;
The woods now wear their summer suits,
To mirth all nature now invites:
Let us be blythesome then and gay
Amang the birks of Invermay.

Behold, the hills and vales around
With lowing herds and flocks abound;
The wanton kids and frisking lambs
Gambol and dance about their dams;
The busy bees with humming noise,
And all the reptile kind rejoice:
Let us, like them, then sing and play
About the birks of Invermay.

Hark! how the waters, as they fall,
Loudly my love to gladness call;
The wanton waves sport in the beams,
And fishes play throughout the streams;
The circling sun does now advance,
And all the planets round him dance:
Let us as jovial be as they
Amang the birks of Invermay.

Karine Polwart sings The Birks of Invermay

Behold the hills and dales around
Wi lowing flocks and herds abound;
The wanton kids and frisking lambs
Gambol and dance aroond their dams;
The busy bee wi humming noise
And a’ the reptile kind rejoice:
Let us like them then sport and play
Amang the birks o’ Invermay.

How soon the winter o’ the year
And age, life’s winter, will appear;
Tis then your living bloom will fade,
And that will strip the verdant shade;
Oor taste of pleasure then is o’er,
The feathered sangsters are no more;
But when they droop and we decay,
Fareweel the birks o' Invermay.

Hark! How the waters as they fa’,
Loudly my love tae gladness ca’;
The wanton waves sport in the beams,
And fishes play throughout the streams;
The circling sun does now advance,
And a’ the planets roond them dance:
Let us like them then sport and play
Amang the birks o’ Invermay.