J.R.R. Tolkien first wrote the text around 1917 - it is about the coming of a semi-invented character named Eriol, a mariner, from England to Tol Eressëa and to the Cottage of Lost Play. In the broad chronology of the evolving legendarium of Middle-earth, this tale is Eriol's first appearance.
The chapter that follows is "The Music of the Ainur".
Eriol, whose actual name is Ælfwine, arrives in his errant sea-farings at the Lonely Island, or Tol Eressëa. Finding a place at which to acquaint with others and stay, the Cottage of Lost Play in the town of Kortirion catches his eye, and he is let in at the door. Its kind owners are Lindo and his wife Vairë. Eriol learns of the daily customs of the Cottage, and of Tombo, the gong owned by Ilverin used to summon the children. He is given much hospitality by the couple through the evening there, and as they feast he learns from Lindo of the founding of Kortirion, and from Vairë of the Cottage and its purpose.
Editor's commentary Edit
Following the text are notes and commentary by Christopher Tolkien concerning the names that were changed by his father, other references to the Cottage elsewhere, the poem it originated from (named You & Me and the Cottage of Lost Play - all versions are written out), and the origin and context of the story of Eriol. He also explains the synonymy of the terms Gnomes and Noldor.