10 MARCH 1928, Page 39


[To the Editor of the SPECTATOR.] Srit,—In speaking of my Reincarnation Anthology, The Ring of Return, under " Books of the Week," your reviewer remarks on the omission of " I was a king in Babylon," by Laurence Hope. I hope you will allow me to point out that this poem is not by Laurence Hope, but by W. E. Henley, and that - Henley is represented by the " Ballade of a Toyohuni Colour- Print" (" Was I a Samurai renowned ? "), an equally appro- priate example, and less hackneyed than " I was a king in Babylon."

The poem by Natalia Crane, which your reviewer thinks weak, was included because it seemed fitting that an Anthology of such wide scope, beginning with Ancient Egypt, should close with an example of " Young America." Natalia Crane was ten years old when this poem was written. She has had - several books of verse published in America (and in England by Messrs. John Lane), and, though naturally somewhat immature in expression, her work, in the opinion of many critics, needs very little excuse on the score of the writer's age.

The object of this Anthology was, of course, to trace the Re- incarnation idea through the ages—not to collect passages of literary merit, or those that appealed specially to the com- piler. This is explained in the Introduction.—I am, Sir, &c., Faerystone, Carbis Bay, Cornwall.