Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Explanatory note on Lord Ullin’s Daughter – Thomas Campbell

The atmosphere is one of the distinct characteristics of the poem Lord Ullin’s Daughter. The poem starts with an agitated atmosphere that arrests our attention. A chieftain of the highlands rushes to the seashore with his beloved and orders a boatman to row them across the sea without delay. He promises to give the boatman a silver pound.
The chieftain’s restlessness and anxiety are evident here, though why he is in a hurry is not clear. It arouses the boatman’s curiosity to know who they are. Then the chieftain introduces himself as the chief of Ulva Isle and his beloved as Lord Ullin’s daughter. Expressing his anxiety the chieftain tells the boatman in a troubled voice that they have been on the run for three days to escape the wrath of her father.
Adding to his agitation and the upset atmosphere are Lord Ullin’s horsemen chasing the love birds. The chieftain keeps worrying over the thought that if he is slain, what will become of his boney bride. He is being chased by Lord Ullin’s armed men on one hand and faced with the raging waves on the other hand. His miserable condition is like a person stuck between a rock and a stone.
All the forces of nature stand as a barrier on the way of the fleeing lovers. The storm grows wilder; the waves rise higher; the sky becomes more furious and the atmosphere gets darker making it difficult for them to reach a safe destination.
The chieftain’s heart beats rapidly as he hears the ‘tramping sound of the horsemen behind him. To see the impending danger the bride cries out, “O haste thee, haste!” She prefers facing the fury of the wild nature over her angry father. Her fear gives us an idea of how merciless her father could be.
When Lord Ullin catches a glimpse of his daughter amidst the roaring waves, the raging person in him turns into a wailing father. His heart misses a beat to see her in danger. The bride herself is in a dilemma. She stretches one arm towards her father for help and holds her lover with the other arm.
Marking a sudden change in the atmosphere from agitation to tranquility is the transformed mood of Lord Ullin from rage to grief. The lamenting father prays to his daughter to come back, but all his pleas fall on a stony ground. He is left with a heavy heart on the shore lashed by the loud waves.            


Manasi N said...

awesome explanation...but the bride isnt BONEY. she is described as the bonny bride, which means shes attractive and beautiful. ^^ helpful.

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