by Walter Scott, Sir (1771 - 1832)

The return to Ulster
Language: English 
Available translation(s): FRE
Once again, but how chang'd since my wanderings began
I have heard the deep voice of the Lagan and Bann,
And the pines of Clanbrasil resound to the roar
That wearies the echoes of fair Tullamore.
Alas! My poor bosom, and why shouldst thou burn!
With the scenes of my youth can its raptures return?
Can I live the dear life of delusion again,
That flow'd when these echoes first mix'd with my strain?

It was then that around me, though poor and unknown,
High  spells of mysterious enchantment were thrown;
The streams were of silver, of diamond the dew,
The land was an Eden, for fancy was new.
I had heard of our bards, and my soul was on fire
At the rush of their verse, and the sweep of their lyre:
To me 'twas not legend, nor tale to the ear,
But a vision of noontide, distinguish'd and clear.

But was she, too, a phantom, the maid who stood by,
And listed my lay, while she turn'd from mine eye?
Was she, too, a vision, just glancing to view,
Then dispers'd in the sunbeam, or melted to dew?
Oh! Would it had been so, - O would that her eye
Had been but a star-glance that shot through the sky,
And her voice, that was moulded to melody's thrill
Had been but a zephyr that sigh'd and was still.


Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

Available translations, adaptations, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • GER German (Deutsch) [singable] (G. Pertz) , title 1: "Heimkehr nach Ulster"
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , title 1: "Le retour en Ulster", copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Ferdinando Albeggiani

This text was added to the website: 2004-12-10
Line count: 24
Word count: 231