Thomas the Rhymer

Thomas the Rhymer is Scotland 's answer to Nostradamus.

Thomas the Rhymer

Thomas the Rhymer, or Thomas Learmont, was a 13th century poet and seer who lived in Erceldoune, a part of Berwickshire now known as Earlstoun.

Legend has it that whilst out walking the Eildon Hills, Thomas fell asleep for what seemed to him like a few minutes but was in fact three years.

During this time, he was spirited away by the enchantingly beautiful Queen of Elfland to be her lover.

He must have been a pretty good shag because the elf queen in her gratitude gave him the gift of prophesy, releasing him back into the mortal world on the strict understanding that he would return immediately on her summons.

Sounds suspiciously to us as if Thomas found a particularly potent batch of magic mushrooms for his lunch on the hillside, but nevertheless Thomas went on to use his elf-given powers by prophesying several significant events in Scotland 's history.

These included:

1603 was also the year in which his prophesies were first collected together and published in print. Belief in his predictions was so enduring that they were even consulted before the Jacobite uprisings of 1715 and 1745.

His story is told in the ballad of "Thomas the Rhymer " which Sir Walter Scott included in his collection "Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border ".

Thomas himself is also believed to have been the author of "Sir Tristrem ", edited by Scott and reputedly the oldest known piece of Scots poetry.

So, did the Queen of the Elves ever summon Thomas back for a further bit of rumpy-pumpy? It would seem so.

He disappeared one day after walking out of his towerhouse and was never seen again. According to legend, he will return again to come to Scotland 's aid in the hour of her greatest need.

With the 2002 World Cup Finals looming large on the horizon, now 's as good a time as any, Tommy boy, so put the elf babe down and get your pants on.

You may also be interested in -