In the poem 'Lord Ullin's daughter, how did the girl express her fear to the boatman?

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litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The lady personifies the storm when she tells the boatman that she would rather face the “raging of the skies” than her angry father.

The lover explains to the boatman that they need to go out in the storm because he eloped with the chieftan’s daughter, and if they are caught he will be killed.

``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.

The storm gets worse, and the lady still wants to continue.  She explains that she would rather face the storm than her father.

``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.''—

By describing the “raging of the skies” she uses personification.  Personification is the use of human traits to describe something non-human.  It is particularly appropriate in this case because the girl is comparing the angry see to the angry father, and apparently is quite satisfied to face the sea rather than dad.  The sea is an unknown—they might make it alive.  To return to the shore is to face certain death for her lover.  She would rather take a chance on him living, or die with him.

This beautiful ballad is an example of the danger of ultimatums and the strength of love.  The lady and her lover are so in love that they would rather die than be apart.  She would rather die with him than see him die.  In the end, the father regrets having been so intractable and denying the strength of their love.  He pays the ultimate pride in losing his daughter.