Folktober – 17 “Queen of Elfthame”
From Thomas the Rhymer (retold by Mary MacGregor, 1908), “Under the Eildon tree Thomas met the lady”, illustration by Katherine Cameron
The Queen of Elfthame.
They believe me deluded or evil, yet I know what I saw. Who I saw. Look at them, at all of you who think I made a tale up to walk away from trouble.
Do they think me so stupid as to think that I should live after the words I spoke, and another committed to paper? I am learned in the herbs and you would come to me with your ailments, for your babies arriving, your people departing this would. Book learning, I have no knowledge of. I weigh by eye, measure in pinches and other means.
When you were taught as I was taught, you learn quickly and well. A scholar is not something applied to me, but I’m not a stupid person either.
You, yes you. Why try and pretend you weren’t there? Aye I was the one who came away scarred. Forgetting my learning for a short while. The pain was too great to leave my bed, and yet….
When you have learned at the hand of her, when the gaze has been upon you, that place gets in your very blood. Bleeding a person makes no difference either. She is deeper in me than anything in my lifetime.
I have glanced upon her, vaguely. To look into her eyes can mean your end. How I wish I had done that anyway. Surely it would have been a better end than this?
They keep saying name this one, Alison. Point that one out. Which person told you to do something. Have you met the De’il Alison?
Of course I have you fools. I’ve met him. I’ve danced and made merry. At her behest I learned the herbs to heal. He is not the Grand one you fools are afraid of. It’s a woman I tell you. The Queen of Elfthame is who you should fear. Christsonday is your feared one, yet he has not the power, unless she gives him the right to it.
I Alison, have told you several times and further you torture me. Gasps surpressed when you saw the ribs under my shift, misshapen at her order. A reminder of her power. Yet, still you fear a dancing man. A marionette.
Bios And Links
has been writing stories, poems and verses since she was a child.
It’s not always what is considered poetry by some, as she isn’t a lover of sweet, schmaltzy rhymes!
She is currently writing her first novel. A psychological thriller with a paranormal element, and she hopes to bring out a poetry collection one day!
She lives on the Isle of Skye. While some of her poetry is written from personal experience, others are written from her slightly dark and twisted imagination.