Murray as above), of which the earliest was written about the middle of the fifteenth century, relates that Thomas of Erceldoune his prophetic powers were given him by the Queen of Elfland, who bore him away to her country for some years, and then restored him to this world lest he should be chosen for the tribute paid to hell. So much is told in the first fytte, which corresponds roughly to our ballad. The rest of the poem consists of prophecies taught to him by the Queen.
The poem contains references to a still earlier story, which probably narrated only the episode of Thomas's adventure in Elfland, and to which the prophecies of Thomas Rymour of Ercildoun were added at a later date. The story of Thomas and the Queen of Elfland is only another version of a legend of Ogier le Danois and Morgan the Fay.
Our ballad is almost certainly derived directly from the poem, and the version here given is not marred by the repugnant ending of Scott's ballad, where Thomas objects to the gift of a tongue th
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