"Hail To The Chief"

(Magill's Quotations in Context)

Context: A lost hunter is sheltered for a night in a rustic stronghold on an island in Loch Katrine in Scotland. The next morning he is shown his homeward path by one of the island's dwellers, a beautiful young girl named Ellen Douglas. Then she speaks to an aged minstrel of her love for Malcolm Graeme, who is loyal to the King, and of her dislike of being loved by Roderick Dhu, a brave but brutal clan chieftain who is due her gratitude for having sheltered her exiled father from the King's wrath. Their talk is interrupted by the return to the island of Sir Roderick, heralded first by bagpipes, then by a boat song. Such songs were composed in honor of Highland chiefs and timed to the rhythm of the oars. (This song has been set to music and has become a traditional march for the President of the United States.) The stirring lines begin:

Hail to the Chief who in triumph advances!
Honored and blessed be the ever-green Pine!
Long may the tree, in his banner that glances,
Flourish, the shelter and grace of our line!
Heaven send it happy dew,
Earth lend it sap anew,
Gayly to bourgeon and broadly to grow,
While every Highland glen
Sends our shout back again,
"Roderigh Vich Alpine dhu, ho! ieroe!"