‘LORD Ullin’s Daughter’ is one of the most popular poems of Thomas Campbell. It is written in the popular ballad stanza of four lines with alternate lines rhyming with each other. The poem tells the tragic tale of Lord ullin’s daughter and her lover who was a Scottish Chieftain. The poem begins with the girl and the Chieftain arriving at the banks of Lochgyle with the intention of going across it to safety. Lord Ullin and his men are closely following them and so the two lovers are desperate to go across the Lake before Lord Ullin and his men arrive at the shore. The lover requests the boatman to ferry them across and promises to pay him a silver pound. The boatman was unwilling as the weather was dark and stormy. But when the girl pleads with him and says that she would rather face the stormy weather than an angry father who will surely kill her lover, the boatman is touched and agrees to take them across without any money. The boat leaves the shore just as Lord Ullin and his men reach the place. All his anger evaporates the moment he sees his daughter in the boat battling against the fury of the raging tempest and the violent, all-engulfing waves. The sight of his daughter crying out for help from the storm-ravaged boat melts his heart and he cries out to her to retum with the assurance that he would forgive her. But it is too late and before his very eyes the little boat capsizes and the two lovers and the boatman are drowned in the turbulent waters. The stormy sea had claimed his daughter and her lover. Lord Ullin remained standing lamenting over the tragedy. The poem is very poignant and emotional in appeal.
TEXTUAL COMPREHENSION :
Read the extracts given below and answer the questions that follow each :
“Now, who be ye, would cross Lochgyle,
This dark and stormy weather ?”
“O, I’m the chief of Ulva’s isle,
And this, Lord Ullin ‘s daughter.
- Who is the speaker of the first two lines ?
- Who is the second person hear ? Who is in his company ?
- Who does the speaker interrogate and why ?
Ans. (i) The speaker of the first two lines is the boatman.
(ii) The second person here is the Chieftain, chief of Ulva’s isle. He is the lover of Lord Ullin’s daughter. She is in his company.
(iii) The speaker interrogates the chief of Ulva because the latter is asking him to hurry to ferry them in the dark and stormy night.
“His horsemen hard behind us ride;
Should they our steps discover,
Then who will cheer my bonny bride
When they have slain her lover ?”
- Who is ‘his’ in the first line ? Who does ‘us’ refer to ?
- Explain ‘cheer my bonny bride’.
- Why would the lover be slain ?
Ans. (i) Lord Ullin is ‘his’ here. ‘Us’ are the Scottish Chieftain and Lord Ullin’s daughter, his beloved.
(ii) Since Lord Ullin’s men were chasing them, he feared that they would stayhim if they caught him That would make his beloved plunge into grief. Nobody would be able to cheer her up again.
(iii) The lover would be slain because Lord Ullin was against her marriage.
the boat has left a stormy land,
A stormy sea before her, -
When, O! too strong for human hand,
The tempest gather’ do’ er her.
- How terrible had the weather become ?
- Why does the poet use ‘stormy land’ and ‘a stormy wave’ ?
- Explain : ‘too strong for human hand’.
Ans. (i) The weather had become so terrible that everything seemed to swallow eachother. The sky looked very wild and the day seemed night.
(ii) The poet uses ‘stormy land’ to indicate ‘storm’ in the household of Lord Ullin. He used’ stormy sea’ to indicate the roughness of the sea.
(iii) The tempest (storm) had become so menacing that it was too difficult to be tackled easily. It had become very rough and wild.
for, sore dismay ’d through storm and shade,
his child he did discover.
One lovely hand she stretch for aid,
And one was round her lover.
- Who is ‘he’ in the second line ?
- Who is ‘she’ / What did she do to seek help for herself ?
- What could have been the situation like at this point in the story ?
Ans. (i) ‘He’ here is lord Ullin.
(ii) ‘She’ is Lord Ullin’s daughter. She extended her hand for help towards her father.
(iii) The situation was the most dramatic as the storm had overwhelmed her. She had extended her hand towards her father for help. Her other hand wasaround her lover.
“ Twas vain: the loud waves lash ’d the shore,
Return or aid preventing:
The water wild went o’er his child,
And he was left lamenting.
- What was vain ?
- What did the loud waves do ?
- Why was he ‘left lamenting ?
Ans. (i) Lord Ullin’s change in heart to forgive his daughter and her lover did not have any effect. It was ‘vain’ because the storm had claimed their lives.
(ii) The loud waves lashed the shore and prevented any aid or the return of the Chieftain and his beloved.
(iii) He was left lamenting because he saw his daughter drawing with her lover.
TEXTUAL QUESTIONS :
Describe the stormy lake that the boatman ferries with the lovers.
Ans. It is really a very dark and stormy weather. The waves are living and white foam is created. The rising water has assumed the forms of ghosts. It shrieking like ghosts. The sky looks horrible. It is frowning black with horrible looks. The wind is blowing horribly. Tempests gather round the lovers. The sea is really stormy. Anything bad can happen to anyone crossing in this fearful weather. The stormy wind become very horrible at the end. After some tine, the loud waves started beating the seashore. The water become wild. Within moment, they overtook the lovers and drowned them.
Lord Ullin is shown in two different aspects. What are these ?
Ans. Lord Ullin is the chieftain of his tribe. His daughter has fallen in love with the chief of Ulva island. Both she and her lover have eloped. It is a great humiliation for Lord Ullin and his tribe. So he orders his men to find out the lovers. The lovers try to cross the stormy lake. Lord Ullin also arrives at the shore when they are crossing the take. He sees that his daughter is going to be drowned. There is a sudden change in him. He cries in grief and calls the lovers back. He forgives them and wants them alive. But within moments the stormy sea-waves drown them and he is left lamenting at the tragedy.
Imagine you one of the chief’s of the cavalry riding behind Lord Ullin. You and your men ride of three days at the end if which you reach the shore. Narrate your experiences as you witnessed a father lamenting the loss of his child, in a diary entry.
Ans Dear diary
At last after three days we could reach the shore of the Lochgyle. We had faced many difficulties during our hard and constant journey of horseback for three days and three nights. But what lay ahead was nerve-wrecking. A violent storm had rise. The tempest was lashing the shores horribly. The waves rising to the skies. The water seemed to touch the zenith. A boat was caught amidst these stormy waters. Lord Ullin was wailing bitterly and shouting to his daughter to come back. He raised hands upwards and cried most piteously but the heavens took no note of his change of heart. The storm raged unabated. It claimed the lives of his daugh6ter and her lower, the chieftain of Ulva isle. The scene was heart-reading and bone-chilling. The scene was so shocking that even hard-hearted soldiers like men had to avert our gaze from Load Ullin’s piteous face. What an unlucky father!
Imagine that you are Lord Ullin. You bemoan and lament the tragic loss of your lovely daughter and curse yourself for having opposed her alliance with the chieftain. Express your feelings of pain and anguish in a letter to your friend.
Ans. Ullin Estate
My dear Lord Harding
I am really terribly upset at the loss of my lovely daughter at the cruel hands of destiny. The more I recollect the scene of her death, the more I curse myself. I feelthat my haughtiness and shallow pride has claimed the life of my delicate and beautiful daughter. I thwarted all hear efforts to see the chieftain of Ulva isle. The more obstacles I put in her path, the more adamant the became. A stage came when she defined me and eloped with her lower. I failed to understand the intensity of her love. False ego led me to set my armed men to chase them across The glen and kill them instantly. Thus I, myself had issued the death warrant Against her he understood my harsh nature well and instead of facing me she Embraced death in the arms of her lover in the wild and stormy sea waves. All my frantic appeals to her to come back and promises to pardon them failed to Calm the angry waves which lashed the shores violently.
I shall live for ever with the stigma of being the murderer of my daughter.
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