Spence was born in 1874 in Monifieth, Angus, Scotland. After graduating from Edinburgh University he pursued a career in journalism. He was an editor at The Scotsman 1899-1906, editor of The Edinburgh Magazine for a year, 1904–05, then an editor at The British Weekly, 1906-09.
Spence's 1940 book Occult Causes of the Present War (ISBN 0766100510) is an early book in the field of Nazi occultism.
The Prows O' Reekie
O wad this braw hie-heapit toun
Sail aff like an enchanted ship,
Drift owre the warld's seas up and doun,
And kiss wi' Venice lip to lip,
Or anchor into Naples' Bay
A misty island far astray
Or set her rock to Athens' wa',
Pillar to pillar, stane to stane,
The cruikit spell o' her backbane,
Yon shadow-mile o' spire and vane,
Wad ding them a', wad ding them a'!
Cadiz wad tine the admiralty
O' yonder emerod fair sea,
Gibraltar frown for frown exchange
Wi' Nigel's crags at elbuck-range,
The rose-red banks o' Lisbon make
Mair room in Tagus for her sake.
A hoose is but a puppet-box
To keep life's images frae knocks,
But mannikins scrieve oot their sauls
Upon its craw-steps and its walls;
Whaur hae they writ them mair sublime
Than on yon gable-ends o' time?
- The Prows o' Reekie at Mixter Maxter, pages and pictures from the archives of
Dick and Winifred Sillitto.
- From time to time, 'poetry day' as an example, or as a civic arts mechanism, lines are culled from verse such as The Prows o' Reekie, (which describes in this case the city of Edinburgh), and these ripped quotes are artlessly displayed with light on city centre buildings.
- Lewis Spence at Wikipedia
- The Scottish Poetry Library stub article on Lewis Spence.