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William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. The Book of Georgian Verse. 1909.

Lord Ullin’s Daughter

Thomas Campbell (1777–1844)

A CHIEFTAIN, to the Highlands bound,

Cries, ‘Boatman, do not tarry!

And I’ll give thee a silver pound

To row us o’er the ferry.’

‘Now who be ye, would cross Lochgyle,

This dark and stormy water?’

‘O, I’m the chief of Ulva’s Isle,

And this, Lord Ullin’s daughter.

‘And fast before her father’s men

Three days we’ve fled together,

For should he find us in the glen,

My blood would stain the heather.

‘His horsemen hard behind us ride;

Should they our steps discover,

Then who will cheer my bonny bride

When they have slain her lover?’

Outspoke the hardy Highland wight:

‘I’ll go, my chief—I’m ready;

It is not for your silver bright,

But for your winsome lady.

‘And by my word! the bonny bird

In danger shall not tarry;

So though the waves are raging white,

I’ll row you o’er the ferry.’

By this the storm grew loud apace,

The water-wraith was shrieking;

And in the scowl of heaven each face

Grew dark as they were speaking.

But still as wilder blew the wind,

And as the night grew drearer,

Adown the glen rode armed men—

Their trampling sounded nearer.

‘O haste thee, haste!’ the lady cries,

‘Though tempests round us gather;

I’ll meet the raging of the skies,

But not an angry father.’

The boat has left a stormy land,

A stormy sea before her,—

When, oh! too strong for human hand,

The tempest gathered o’er her.

And still they rowed amidst the roar

Of waters fast prevailing:

Lord Ullin reached that fatal shore—

His wrath was changed to wailing.

For sore dismayed, through storm and shade,

His child he did discover:

One lovely hand she stretched for aid,

And one was round her lover.

‘Come back! come back!’ he cried in grief,

‘Across this stormy water;

And I’ll forgive your Highland chief,

My daughter!—oh, my daughter!’

’Twas vain:—the loud waves lashed the shore,

Return or aid preventing;—

The waters wild went o’er his child,

And he was left lamenting.