The Birks of Aberfeldy

You have to know one thing to understand this poem: birks = birch trees.  When we were in Iona talking to a stranger in the gift shop he asked where we were going next.  When we told him Aberfeldy, he immediately sang out, “The birks, the birks of Aberfeldy.”  Scots know their Burns, I tell you. 

Frankly, the birks of Aberfeldy aren’t so exciting at this time of year.  But we took a picture, nonetheless.

The Birks of Aberfeldy by Robert Burns

Now simmer blinks on flow’ry braes,
And o’er the crystal streamlet plays,
Come, let us spend the lightsome days
In the birks of Aberfeldie!

(Chorus)
Bonnie lassie, will ye go,
will ye go, will ye go,
Bonnie lassie, will ye go
To the birks of Aberfeldie?

The little birdies blithely sing,
While o’er their heads the hazels hing;
Or lightly flit on wanton wing
In the birks of Aberfeldie!

The braes ascend like lofty wa’s,
The foaming stream, deep-roaring, fa’s,
O’er-hung wi’fragrant spreading shaws,
The birks of Aberfeldie.

The hoary cliffs are crown’d wi’flowers,
White o’er the linns the burnie pours,
And, rising, weets wi’ misty showers
The birks of Aberfeldie.

Let Fortune’s gifts at random flee,
They ne’er shall draw a wish frae me,

Supremely blest wi’ love and thee


In the birks of Aberfeldie.


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2 thoughts on “The Birks of Aberfeldy

  1. I’ve always loved birch trees because we had 3 of them in the house I lived in as a very young child. We would pull the pods off the tree when they were very ripe, crush them up in our hands, and throw them at each other! Kids will be kids….

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