"The Queen of Elfan's Nourice"
or "The Queen of Elfland's Nourice"
is Child ballad
number 40, although fragmentary in form.
A mortal woman laments being taken from her four-day-old son. The Queen of Elfland
promises that if she nurses the queen's child, she will be returned. The Queen then points out their path: the road to Elfland, rather than to Heaven or Hell.
The path to Elfland appears to be taken from the ballad "Thomas the Rhymer
" rather than be a part of this tale.
The plot of the ballad revolves about a common piece of folklore, the taking of human woman to Elfland to nurse fairy babies; women were often regarded as being in particular danger of being taken by the fairies immediately after giving birth.