Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

The Birks Of Invermay

Scottish Song By David Mallet

The Birks Of Invermay (also known as Berks Of Endermay) is a Scottish song by David Mallet written sometime before 1733 and sung to the Scottish tune, The Birks Of Endermay.

The first two stanzas of this song are thought to have been written by David Mallet (1714-1765) (but there is no firm proof) the other stanzas are generally ascribed to the Rev. Alex. Bryce, minister of Kirknewton (1713-1786).

Mallet's verses appeared in the Orpheus Caledonius in 1733, where they are directed to be sung "to a Scotch tune, The Birks of Endermay." They are also given, with the three additional stanzas, in the 4th vol. of the Tea Table Miscellany.

"Invermay," says Mr Robert Chambers, "is a small woody glen, watered by the rivulet May, which there joins the river Earn. It is about five miles above the bridge of Earn, and nearly nine from Perth. The seat of Mr. Belsches, the proprietor of this poetical region, and who takes from it his territorial designation, stands at the bottom of the glen. Both sides of the little vale are completely wooded, chiefly with birches; and it is altogether, in point of natural loveliness, a scene worthy of the attention of the amatory muse. The course of the May is so sunk among rocks, that it cannot be seen, but it can easily be traced in its progress by another sense. The peculiar sound which it makes in rushing through one particular part of its narrow, rugged, and tortuous channel, has occasioned the descriptive appellation of the Humble-Bumble to be attached to that quarter of the vale. Invermay may be at once and correctly described as the fairest possible little miniature specimen of cascade scenery."

Related Scottish Country Dances

The Birks Of Invermay

The Birks Of Invermay By David Mallet

The smiling morn, the breathing spring,
Invites the tunefu' birds to sing;
And, while they warble from the 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,
Among 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 strip the verdant shade.
Our taste of pleasure then is o'er,
The feather'd songsters are no more;
And when they drop, and we decay,
Adieu the birks of Invermay!

The laverocks, now, and lintwhites sing,
The rocks around with echoes ring;
The mavis and the blackbird vie,
In tuneful strains, to glad the day
The woods now wear their summer suits;
To mirth all nature now invites:
Let us be blythsome, then, and gay,
Among 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 around 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,
Among the birks of Invermay.

The Birks Of Invermay Song Video

The Birks Of Invermay Song - Information Video
Forest Of Birches, Scotland
A Forest Of Birches, Scotland

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