Bless you, Old Man, for the very generous praise of "Hugh Glass"! I now have the testimonies of two real poets, E. A. Robinson having written me in a highly gratifying manner. You & he would be enough to satisfy my natural desire for approval. But the book seems to have gotten across in other places. The Boston Transcript gave a half page & made its approval as decided as possible. Placed the poem above anything Masefield and Noyes have done "with the possible exception of Dauber" etc etc. As to the historical background and general atmosphere, Doane Robinson, probably the best authority, has testified. I guess I'm in for the entire series now! Am beginning on "The Song of Three Friends".

There are three other "Songs" beside "Hugh" and the "Friends" — all being concerned with the adventures of men associated in one particular expedition. These collected will form "The Rocky Mountain Saga". Beyond this collection are still other collections. Within four years I should have "The Rocky Mountain Saga" complete; then even those who lack imagination will see what I'm trying to do! This information is for George Sterling, my good friend. I'm not advertising my scheme just yet.

My most beautiful Xmas present came from you. The book is simply riffing! And that photo of you is just right. It looks like you, both in the transient and the eternal sense. I have carefully pasted it inside the front cover. I have a way of showing my few highly prized books to visitors. Your latest has already gone into that service. Don't fear that the "Xmas book" venture can lower you. The work is the same exquisite stuff that is Sterlingesque; and it was quite proper that you should sing the dirge of "the evanescent city", that it should be widely circulated.

I hear of your project for next Summer with interest. But when you write me that you have at last begun on "Lillith", as you suggested it to me, I will dance for joy. Because that is a great theme for you, and you will draw strange and wonderful beauties out of it. What exquisite word-tapestries I shall expect then! Old Man, I [own?] as much of you as any other in this world, and there is a touch of true selfishness in my wanting you to do "Lillith". Is the idea still smouldering in you? If not, a little thought thereon will start the spark. The prose-poetry on California will no doubt feed you — leaving you free to do the long poem with no thought of selling it.

Everything goes peacefully here. I review for the Journal half the week, and the other half I do the real work. Have been working on a translation of The Agamemnon — literal and in the original rhythms. Nothing of the kind has yet been done in English. I found that most verse translations are simply wretched. Browning's is often bad, & no one, unacquainted with Greek, could know what he means to say. He errs by out-Greeking Greek, very often translating the roots of a word, not the word as the Athenians of the 5th Century understood it. Furthermore, he does not give the original rhythms. In the dialogue, he mistakes the iambic trimeter, rendering it in a nondescript eleven-syllable line. I am doing this translation for the joy of it. A composer friend of mine will do tentative music for the choruses after the probable Greek manner and I expect to illustrate the volume with vase-paintings. There will doubtless be elaborate notes, for I find that many new & plausible renderings of obscure passages are not only possible, but sometimes necessary.

The babies are growing fast & are as healthy as pigs. Enid & Sig both know "Sterlin" and speak of him in one breath with Tennyson, Swinburne & Eugene Field! I quote your stuff to them when they come to me, begging me to "sing poetry, daddy". Why do they know that "sing" is quite the proper word? Enid remembers that "Uncle Sterlin" kissed her! And when you are gray-headed or dead, she will boast about that — as she should. My kids must learn early that money-makers are not great men. They must learn to honor high adventure whether of the mind or in the world of men. I shall give them heroes to honor — and that is the greatest gift to a child.

The winter's hunting has begun. Went out the other day and got a couple of jack-rabbits. For several years they seemed to be driven out of the country; but suddenly they reappear.

All good luck to you, Old Man!

Jno. Neihardt