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Summary

Inspired by the Scottish tradition of chivalry and romance, Thomas Campbell's ballad Lord Ullin's Daughter centres around the theme of love and sacrifice portrayed through a narrative involving a chieftain,his beloved, the king and others. Considered to be one of the most popular romantic poems of Campbell,the poem unfolds the story of the attempted elopement resulting in the death of the couple. Well structured and set in a lyrical tone with a regular rhyme scheme, the poem has a curious beginning, a terrifying middle and a tragic end.
In the beginning, the poem portrays that a chieftain is appealing to a boatman to ferry him and his beloved despite stormy weather. The chieftain, chief of Ulva's island, promises to reward the boatman with a silver pound on helping him and his beloved, Lord Ullin's daughter, to elope to a distant land.
The chieftain in order to persuade the boatman to help them elope narrates that he and his beloved have been fleeing for three days. To win over the heart of the boatman, the chieftain reiterates that in case he and his beloved are caught by the King's men, they will kill him leaving his beloved to sigh for ever. Giving up his reluctance, the boatman agrees to ferry them to a distant land.
The middle part of the poem brings out the terror and tension in the hearts of the chieftain and his beloved as they anticipate the arrival of the King's men. They appeal to the boatman to speed up to evade arrest. The internal tension and terror of the characters simulate with the storm and the raging waves of the sea. At this juncture, in tune with the ethos of Scottish culture, Lord Ullin's daughter expresses her unwillingness to confront her angry father who has turned down her proposal to marry the chieftain. She prefers to embrace death for the sake of love than confront a wrathful father who will oppose her choice to marry the chieftain.

The poem reaches the climax when the boat carrying the chieftain and his beloved, i.e., Lord Ullin's daughter capsizes amidst heavy storm. Lord Ullin at this point reaches the shore only to see that his daughter is drowning. At once his wrath transforms into wailing. He cries in grief persuading his daughter to come back. He can witness his daughter waving her hand for rescue but in vain. He even promises to grant amnesty to his daughter and the chieftain for violating the social ethos of marriage prevalent in the Scottish society. But unfortunately, tragedy dwells upon Lord Ullin's daughter and her lover as both of them are drowned leaving Lord Ullin completely shattered.

Page No: 77

5. On the basis of your understanding of the poem, answer the following questions by ticking the correct choice. 

(a) Lord Ullin's daughter and her lover are trying to_____________.
(i) escape the wrath of her father
(ii) settle in a distant land
(iii) challenge the storm in the lake
(iv) trying to prove their love for each other

Answer 
(i) escape the wrath of her father

(b) The boatman agrees to ferry them across because_________.
(i) he has fallen in love with Lord Ullin's daughter
(ii) he wants to avenge Lord Ullin
(iii) he has lost his love
(iv) he is sorry for the childlike innocence of the lady

Answer 
(iv) he is sorry for the childlike innocence of the lady

(c) The mood changes in the poem. It transforms from _________.
(i) happiness to fear
(ii) anxiety to grief
(iii) fear to happiness
(iv) love to pain

Answer 
(ii) anxiety to grief

(d)  The shore of Lochgyle has been referred to as 'fatal shore!' The poetic device used here
is ________________.
(i) metaphor
(ii) simile
(iii) transferred epithet
(iv) onomatopoeia

Answer
(iii) transferred epithet 

6. In pairs copy and complete the summary of the poem with suitable words/expressions.
A Scottish Chieftain and his beloved were (a) _____________from her wrathful father. As they reached the shores, the (b) ____________ told a boatman to (c) ____________ them across Lochgyle. He asked him to do it fast because if (d) ______________found them, they would kill him. The boatman (e) ________________to take them not for the
(f) _____________that the chieftain offered but for his (g) ____________. By this time, the storm had (h) _____________and a wild wind had started blowing. The sound of 
(i) _______________could be heard close at hand. The lady urged the boatman
(j) _____________as she did not want to face an angry father.
Their boat left the (k) ______________and as it got caught in the stormy sea, Lord Ullin reached the deadly (l)_____________. His anger changed to wailing when he saw his daughter (m) ______________. He asked her to return back. But it was (n) __________ as the stormy sea claimed his daughter and her lover. 

Answer
A Scottish Chieftain and his beloved were (a) fleeing from her wrathful father. As they reached the shores, the (b)chieftain told a boatman to (c) ferrythem across Lochgyle. He asked him to do it fast because if (d) Lord Ullin’s men found them, they would kill him. The boatman (e) agreed to take them not for the (f) silver that the chieftain offered but for his(g)beautiful bride. By this time, the storm had (h) become more violent and a wild wind had started blowing. The sound of (i) Lord Ullin’s mencould be heard close at hand. The lady urged the boatman (j) to hurry as she did not want to face an angry father.
Their boat left the (k)stormy shore and as it got caught in the stormy sea, Lord Ullin reached the deadly(l) shore. His anger changed to wailing when he saw his daughter (m) in danger. He asked her to return back. But it was (n) futile as the stormy sea claimed his daughter and her lover. 

Page No: 78

7. Why does Lord Ullin’s daughter defy her father and elope with her lover? (Stanza 1)
Answer 
Lord Ullin was against his daughter’s marriage with her lover, the chieftain. So, to marry her lover she defied her father and eloped with him.

8. Give two characteristics of the boatman who ferries the couple across the sea.
Answer 
The boatman was brave and helpful.

9. “Imagery” refers to something that can be perceived through more than one of the senses. It uses figurative language to help form mental pictures. Campbell used vivid, diverse and powerful imagery to personify the menacing face of nature (for e.g. sea, sky, wind, land). Pick out expressions that convey the images of anger in the following stanzas:
Stanza 6
_______________________________
Stanza 7
‘Water-wraith was shrieking’
_______________________________
Stanza 9
_______________________________
Stanza 10
_______________________________
‘Stormy land’
Stanza 13
_______________________________
Stanza 14
_______________________________

Answer

Stanza 6
‘the waves are raging white’
Stanza 7
‘Water-wraith was shrieking’
‘the scowl of heaven’
Stanza 9
‘raging of the skies’
Stanza 10
‘Stormy sea’
‘Stormy land’
Stanza 13
‘Stormy water’
Stanza 14
‘the loud waves lashed the shore’

10. Read the following lines and answer the questions that  follow
“His horsemen hard behind us ride;
Should they our steps discover,
Then who will cheer my bonny bride
When they have slain her lover?”

(a) Who is ‘his’ in line 1? Who does ‘us’ refer to? 
(b) Explain − ‘cheer my bonny bride’.
(c) Why would the lover be slain?

Answer 
(a) Lord Ullin is ‘his’ here. ‘Us’ are the Scottish Chieftain and Lord Ullin’s daughter, his beloved.
(b) The Chieftain’s worry is that in case he is killed by Lord Ullin, his lonely beloved will have nobody to console and support her.
(c) The lover would be slain because Lord Ullin did not approve of the match and was angry at the chieftain for eloping with his daughter.

11. “The water-wraith was shrieking”. Is the symbolism in this line a premonition of what happens at the end? Give reasons for your answer. (Stanza 7)
Answer 
Yes, the symbolism is a premonition of the tragic death of ill-fated lovers. It is a device of 'fore shadowing' The noisy waves were crying for blood. And they overtook them ultimately. So their shriek suggests in advance what happens at the end.

12. The poet uses words like ‘adown’, ‘rode’ which contain harsh consonants. Why do you think the poet has done this? (Stanza 8)
Answer 
The use of harsh consonants creates an unpleasant effect. In the context of Lord Ullin’s men chasing his daughter and her lover, the use of harsh consonants in the words describing the situation is quite effective.

Page No: 79 

13. In Stanza 10, the poet says −
The boat has left a stormy land,
A stormy sea before, her, --

(a) In both these lines, the word “stormy” assumes different connotations. What are they?

(b) The lady faces a dilemma here. What is it? What choice does she finally make?

Answer 

(a) The land is ‘stormy’ because of the presence of the furious Lord Ullin. The sea is stormy because of the furious waves.

(b) Lord Ullin's daughter has to make a decision between choosing the 'stormy land' or the 'stormy sea' that is, the fury of her father or the tempestuous weather. Mortally afraid of her father's fury she chooses to venture into the stormy sea and run the risk of getting drowned in the stormy sea.

14. 

(a) “Lord Ullin reached that fatal shore” just as his daughter left it. Why is the shore called fatal? (Stanza 11)
Answer 
The shore is called fatal as beyond the shore the sea was so turbulent that anyone embarking to sail through the sea would face death. The shore acted as the gateway to death. Lord Ullin’s daughter crossed the shore only to meet her tragic end.

(b) Why does Lord Ullin’s wrath change into wailing on seeing his daughter?
Answer
Lord Ullin noticed that the storm won’t spare his daughter. He feels helpless and guilty. His anger cools down and he starts moaning for his child.

15. “One lovely hand she stretch’d for aid.” Do you think Lord Ullin’s daughter wanted to reach out to her father? (Stanza 12) If yes, why?
Answer 
Lord Ullin’s daughter wanted to reach out to her father as her father cried in grief for her return and even promised to forgive her lover if she returned back.

16. You are already familiar with the poetic device “alliteration”. The poet makes extensive use of the same throughout the poem. Pick out as many examples of alliteration as you can.
Example: fast-father’s; horsemen-hard
Answer
Examples of alliteration are:
Bonny bride
Hardy Highland Bonny bird
Human hand
Storm and shade
Water wild
Roar'd amidst the roar
Water-wraith

17. What is the rhyme scheme of the poem?
Answer 
The rhyme scheme is a-b,a-b, that is, alternating rhyme scheme. In the last paragraph the rhyme scheme changes to abcb.

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