Gertrude of Wyoming

Lord Ullin’s Daughter

Thomas Campbell

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 weather?”
“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?”—

Out spoke 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;1
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, O! too strong for human hand,
    The tempest gather’d o’er her.

And still they row’d amidst the roar
    Of waters fast prevailing:
Lord Ullin reach’d that fatal shore,—
    His wrath was changed to wailing.

For, sore dismay’d through storm and shade,
    His child he did discover:—
One lovely hand she stretch’d 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!—O my daughter!”

’Twas vain: the loud waves lash’d the shore,
    Return or aid preventing:
The waters wild went o’er his child,
    And he was left lamenting.

1.    The evil spirit of the waters.    [back]

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