A chieftain to the Highlands bound (Robert Lucas Pearsall)

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  • (Posted 2019-12-13)   CPDL #56248:         
Editor: James Gibb (submitted 2019-12-13).   Score information: A4, 6 pages, 94 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: MusicXML source file is in compressed .mxl format.

General Information

Title: A chieftain to the Highlands bound
Composer: Robert Lucas Pearsall
Lyricist: Thomas Campbell (poet)

Number of voices: 4vv   Voicing: SATB
Genre: SecularPartsong

Language: English
Instruments: Keyboard

First published: 1875 in Novello's Part-Song Book (2nd series), Vol. 11, no. 315


External websites:

Original text and translations

English.png English text

1  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 Loch-gyle
This dark and stormy water?"
"O I'm the chief of Ulva's isle,
And this Lord Ullin's daughter."

2  "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?"

3  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."

4  By this the storm grew loud apace,
The water-wraith was shrieking;
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.

5  "O haste, then 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, oh! too strong for human hand,
The tempest gathered o'er her.

6  And still they rowed amidst the roar
Of waters fast prevailing;
Lord Ullin reached that fatal shore;
His wrath was changed to wailing;
For sore dismayed, through storm and shade,
His child he did discover;
One lovely hand she stretched for aid,
And one was round her lover.

7  "Come back! come back!" he cried in grief,
Across the stormy water:
“And I'll forgive your Highland chief;
My daughter, oh! my daughter!"
'Twas vain: the loud waves lashed the shore,
Return or aid preventing:
The waters wild went o'er his child,
And he was left lamenting.