Thomas of Erceldoune

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Thomas of Erceldoune

(ûr`səldo͞on'), fl. 1220?–1297?, Scottish seer and poet, also known as Thomas the Rhymer and Thomas Learmont. Evidence of his existence is founded on the mention of his name in documents of the 13th cent. Soon after his death his reputation as a prophet became proverbial. His reputed sayings were consulted as late as the Jacobite risings of 1715 and 1745. He supposedly predicted the battle of Bannockburn and the accession of James VI to the English throne. The poetical romance of Thomas and the Elf-Queen, attributed to him but actually composed about 1400, describes the events surrounding his receipt of the gift of prophecy.
References in periodicals archive ?
The cattle gave 'piteous cries' as they scented the 'shambles', and the 'groans and screams of men and the screeches of the poor horses [...] formed a fearful chorus.' Trying to escape this horrifying music, Hugonet climbs to the Douglas's library to search for a 'book of poetry' by the 'ancient Scottish Bard' Thomas the Rhymer. This bard, an historical figure flourishing just a few years earlier than this episode, is already in Bertram's narrative transformed by romance and ballad accounts that must in fact have developed much later, accounts explaining that Thomas received his poetic and prophetic gifts from his sojourn with the elf-queen.
In "Thomas the Rhymer," Thomas, lolling on "Huntlie bank," spies the "ferlie," (24) attired in green (the color of fertility, fecundity, the natural as well as the supernatural): Her skirt was of the grass-green silk, Her mantle o' the velvet fine, At ilka tett of her horse's mane each lock, tuft Hang fifty siller bells and nine.
Following up on New tales for old, the authors examine contemporary reworkings (as opposed to simple retellings) and critical interpretations of "Beauty and the Beast," "Jack and the Beanstalk," "Tam Lin" and "Thomas the Rhymer," "The Little Mermaid," "The Snow Queen," "The Wild Swans," "The Emperor's New Clothes" and "The Princess on the Pea." Each folktale entry includes an interpretive introduction, a discussion of the tale type, its motifs and history, an overview of critical interpretations and a review of reworkings in novels, short stories, films, plays, poetry, picture books and on the Internet.
The authors explore tales and ballads such as "Beauty and the Beast," "Tam Lin," "Thomas the Rhymer," "The Little Mermaid," "The Wild Swans," "The Snow Queen" and others in terms of how they have been analyzed, reinterpreted and rewritten in different formats, including picture books for older readers, films, novelizations and other genres and media.
In that capacity he was a Borderer, wedded to the ballads and half-believing in a magic world where the Eildon hills were the gateway to Thomas the Rhymer's lost fairyland.
Thomas is now probably best known through the ballad "Thomas the Rhymer," included by Scott in volume 2 of his three-volume Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border (1802-03).
Wace's conscious literary artistry in the Brut exerted a stylistic influence on later verse romances (notably on a version of the Tristan story by Thomas the Rhymer, an Anglo-Norman writer), whereas the English poem Brut ( c.