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To Richd. Carew * of Anthony, Esq.
To the Countess of Darby.
A single specimen of these plausive sonnettings is likely to suffice: and the following has been chosen, as it is particularly specified by our poetical historian, t and quored by Mr. Todd in his edition of Spenser. I
* This gentleman, in his Survey of Cornwall, 1602, seems to speak of Henry under the name of Michael Lock, who he says" addicteth himselfe to an ecclesiastical lie, and there in j'yning poetry with divinity, endeavoureth to imitate the holy prophet David, whose psalmes of his translation into English metre receive the general applause," &c. † Vol. III, p. 445.
I Vol. II. p. ccxiii.
“ To the Right Honorable the Lord of Buckhurst. As you of right impart, with peeres in sway
Of common weale, wherein by you we rest; So hold I fit to yeeld you every way
That due, the which my powre affoordeth best : But when I call to mind, your pen so blest,
With flowing liquor of the Muses' spring; I feare your daintie eare can ill digest
The harsh-tun'd notes, which on my pipe I sing. Yet since the ditties of so wise a king, *
Can not so lose their grace, by my rude hand,
Wood † terms Henry Lok, “a divine poet;" from the portions of scripture, doubtless, which he undertook to paraphrase; but Warton, with more philological propriety, denominated him the Mævius of his age. I “ Lok however (he candidly adds) applied the sonnet to a spiritual purpose, and substituting christian love in the place of amorous passion, made it the vehicle of humiliation, holy comfort, and thanksgiving." So, it nay be observed, did Barnes in a century of sonnets, printed in 1595, and intended hereafter to be noticed. In a dramatic satire on the poets of the time, entitled " The Return from Parnassus,” Lok is thus coupled with Hudson, a partial translator of Du Bartas, and a panegyrist of Scottish poets ; § “ Locke and Hudson, sleep you, quiet shavers, among the shavings of the press, and let your books lie in some old nook amongst
Solomon, † Athen. Oxon. I. 289. | Hist. of E. P. IV.9. $ See the early poetry of K. James, and Leyden's edition of Scottish descriptive poems published.
174 old boots and shoes: so, you may avoid my censure." Wood informs us, that Lok having either taken a degree, or had it conferred at Oxford, retired to the court, and was received into the patronage of a noble Mecænas. In this courtly retirement probably it was, and under the roof of his noble Mecænas, that he placed the calendarium regiæ, or red-book for 1597, before his tranced eyes, and addressed a presentation sonnet to every person of distinction, who attended at the royal levee. This is fairly supposable from the list already displayed: but even for this, Warton has offered the following graceful apology. “ It was then
" a common practice, by unpoetical and empty panegyrics, to attempt to conciliate the attention and secure the protection of the great; without which it was supposed to be impossible for any poem to struggle into eelebrity. Habits of submission, and the notions of subordination, now prevailed in a high degree: and men looked up to peers, on whose smiles or frowns they believed all sublunary good and evil to depend, with a reverential awe. Chapman closed his translation of the Iliad with sixteen sonnets, addressed to the chief nobility; Lok on the same plan, subjoined a set of secular sonnets to his paraphrase of Ecclesiastes; and, not to multiply more instances, Spenser (in compliance with a disgraceful custom, or rather in obedience to the established tyranny of patronage) prefixed to the Fairy Queen fifteen of these adulatory pieces, which is every respect are to be numbered among the meanest of his compositions.”*
• Hist. of E. P. III. 445. Rition considered Lok as author of the legend of Orpheus and Eurydice, 1597, by H. L. but the poem seems superior to Lok's capability,
ART. VI. The Castell of Courtesie, whereunto is
adjoyned The Holde of Humilitie; with the Chariot of Chastitie thereunto annexed. Also a Dialogue betweene Age and Youth; and other matters herein conteined. By James Yates, Servingman. 1582. Reade, but not deride,
Accuse not without cause :
With reason, nor her lawes.
A second title, after fol. 8, runs thus : The Hould of Humilitie: adjoyned to the Castle of
Courtesie. Compiled by James Yates, Servingman.
Captious conceipts good reader doe dismiss :
And, friendly weigh the willing minde of his,
Which more doth write for pleasure then for praise,
Whose worthlesse workes
are simplie pend alwaies. London. Imprinted (as above.)
A third title near the middle of the book runs thus : The Chariot of Chastitie, drawne to publication by
dutiful Desire, GoodWill, and Commendation. Also a Dialogue betwene Diana and Venus. With Ditties devised at sundrie idle times, for recreation sake: set dou 'ne in such wise as insueth by James Yates. London. Imprinted (as alove) 1582.
Herbert discovered from the stationers' register that such a book as this was licensed to John Wolfe, in 1581;* but he had not seen it. The solitary copy now before me is imperfect; and appears to have been preserved from utter demolition by Mr. T. Martin t of Palgrave, the Suffolk antiquary, and to have descended from the curious collection of Major Pearson to the select library of Mr. Steevens, in whose sale-catalogue it will be found briefly designated at No. 1134. As the author was an uneducated menial, little probably was ever known, and still less can now be discovered concerning him. That he was a Suffolk man is presumable from his addressing verses to a person who visited Ipswich, and from writing an epitaph on a Mrs. Pooly of Badley. The different divisions of his book are inscribed to his approved good master and mistress Henry Reynowls, Esq. and his wife Elizabeth Reynowls, to whom he adds acrostical verses, which afford no better proofs of his poetical taste than the alliterative titles to his labours. The following lines however are creditable to his moral sentiment, and have been divested of their ancient orthography, that they may be read with greater pleasure.
" Verses on Friendship. Under the cope and glittering hue of heaven
Are all the joys allotted by decree ;
Yet is there none that may compared be
But doth remain all one in constancy.
* Typogr. Antiq. p. 1186. + Hearne calls him “ honest Tom Martin," in Peter de Langtoft.