Lord Ullin’s Daughter by Thomas Campbell- Analysis

The poem, written as a ballad, is about the tragic drowning of a young man and his beloved while trying to escape the wrath of the latter’s father.

Lord Ullin is the father of the girl. Being the lord of Ulva, he wields considerable power. His young beautiful daughter is madly in love with a chieftain in the same place. Lord Ullin can not reconcile to his daughter’s romantic relationship with the young chieftain. He puts a strong foot down on the idea of the two getting married. The daughter dreads the rage and fury of her father.

Seeing no way to formally marry the chieftain, whom she has already given her heart to, she elopes with him. This infuriates Lord Ullin so much that he sends three horsemen to haunt down the duo and smother the chieftain on the spot.

The duo, frantically trying to evade their pursuers plan to cross the stretch of sea known as Lochgyle. The sea separates Ulva and Gribun on Mull. Gribun can be the duo’s safe haven.

They approach a boatman to ferry them across. But, the weather has become hostile. Darkness is descending and a storm is beginning to blow. Understandably, the boatman is hesitant to venture into water. The chieftain, very eager to get away to the other side, offers a silver coin to the boatman and beseeches him to make the trip somehow or the other.

The boatman learns that the man and woman, deeply in love, are in the run. The boat journey stood between them and their death.

The boatman proudly spurns the lure of the silver. Pulling himself up, he declares that he would make the trip for the sake of the ‘boney’ damsel in distress.

In the mean while, the weather deteriorates further. It gets darker and the storm begins to blow stronger. Thunder rumbles and lightning flickers.

Just then the sound of the three galloping horsemen is heard. It drives the young man and the lady to extreme nervousness and fright. It becomes clear that the horsemen will soon find them out and behead the chieftain with the swish of their sword. The girl would then be left to confront the wrath of her monstrous father.

Seeing the plight of the two lovers, the boatman’s heart melts.He sets out with the duo in his boat on the perilous journey. The weather worsens further making the journey very fraught. The ruthless storm blows without any remorse swaying the boat dangerously.

Lord Ullin soon reaches the sea shore, but just a short while too late. He sees the boat capsizing and his daughter clinging to her lover with one hand and waving to her father for help with the other.

Lord Ullin realizes that this is the last glimpse of his dear daughter who would soon meet her watery grave. His heart is plunged in remorse. Revenge and anger are replaced by a torrent of forgiveness and affection. He is ready to accept the duo and allow them to marry.

But, it is too late. He would see his daughter no more. He realizes how his senseless fury and obduracy have extracted a deadly toll. There was no way he could atone for his folly.  

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84 Responses

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  2. Y s r says:

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  3. Taksh Tyagi says:

    The summary is good.

  4. this is really very nice explaination….
    thank you……

  5. Supriyo Dasgupta says:

    It helped me a lot.

  6. hafiz rahman says:

    before i could not understand the poem. now i can understand the poem by reading summary.the summary was amazing

  7. aamir says:

    Yo its nice and gud

  8. Saroj kumar satpathy says:

    Awesome explanation .Thank you

  9. hansika says:

    nice summary
    very helpful

  10. Vivek says:

    It is a very nice poem love reading this poem

  11. singhalaru says:

    beautiful poem… the summary was amazing with detailed explanations..

  12. Lakshmi says:

    This analysis is beautifully written…….thank you

  13. nandini shakya says:


  14. Sanya Shaikh says:

    please make it for 6 graders from magic place book plzz

  15. janet says:

    thanks a lot…!!it was really a gud summary!!!

  16. Shashvat says:

    Good explanation.
    But hey, can you help me with other poems too?

  17. Shashvat says:

    So please send me those links… As soon as possible.

  18. Amartya Kamakar says:

    Awesome site
    And a very detailed summery of the chapter

  19. sreejita says:

    Thanks for a nice summary

  20. Raghav says:

    Nice summary….thanx

  21. William says:

    Quite detailed,good job✌

  22. Isha says:

    Nyc explanation….but could you explain the phrase ‘water wraith’ as in the poem and it’s figure of speech?

    • Satya Prakash says:

      Why you wrote ‘it’s in place of its? I wonder if you have understood the word ‘wraith’. To get the answer to your question, read the post ‘FIGURE OF SPEECH’ in my blog. It will be clear. Nonetheless, I will give you the answer after a few days, if you fail.

  23. Nandini says:

    Helped a lot! Thanks for an easy explanation 🙂

  24. yaasir says:

    really gud and i got full marks in english becuz of dis summary. thanx a lot

  25. jyoti says:

    Thanku soooooo…….. much
    It made the poem more clearer

  26. Andrew Wartdei says:

    Is is a gid analysis right from the start till the end. It is a spontaneous flow of powerful feelings. I really really love it yo read. Thnks for posting it.

  27. Simi Saha says:

    Its very helpful………………

  28. hamzad says:

    such a grate poem ballad gives us a nice feel……. 🙂

  29. MIREN says:


  30. abc says:

    lord ullin is not the chief of ulva’s isle.
    her lover is

  31. Gauravi says:

    Thank u sir for this explanation it was awesome and no doubt , THIS IS THE BEST SITE EVER.

    • Satya Prakash says:

      Thanks, Gaurvi. Learn the new words and expressions used. Also,learn the poetic devices employed in the poem. These are not covered in the post.

  32. bishanpreet says:

    well thnxx it was of great help and also tomorrow is my 90 marks exam wish me best of luck!!!

  33. heidayesh says:

    How can u say that daughter loved children passionately

  34. lilarao says:

    This is an awesome website. really. it has helped me so much. i would fall short of words describing.

  35. nani says:

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  36. gian says:

    the worst explanation i have ever read

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