1843 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Henry Lok

John Holland, in Psalmists of Britain. Records of upwards of One Hundred and Fifty Authors, who have rendered the Whole or Parts of The Book of Psalms, into English Verse (1843) 1:228-29.



Of this Author but little is known at present; though he appears to have been in some way connected with the Court of Queen Elizabeth, to whom he dedicated some of his pieces, comprising two hundred sonnets, treating of Meditation, Humiliation, Prayer, Comfort, Joy, and Thanksgiving. His name occurs to a book in the Bodleian Library, entitled "Sundry Psalms of David, translated into verse, as briefly and significantly as the scope of the text will suffer." Besides this work, Lok, or Locke, as the name is sometimes written, published "Ecclesiastes, otherwise called the Preacher; containing Salomon's Sermons,, or Commentaries, (as may probably be collected), upon the 49.Psalme of David, his father. Compendiously abridged, and also paraphrastically dilated in English poesie, according to the analogie of Scripture, and consent of the most approved writers thereof. Composed by H. L. Gentleman. Whereunto are annexed, sundrie Sonnets of Christian Passions, heretofore printed, and now corrected and augmented; with other Affectionate Sonnets of a feeling conscience, of the same Author's. London; printed by Rich. Field, 1597." 4to. This work is "extremely rare." The subjoined specimen is from the Psalms above mentioned.: it must be admitted to be a most feeble rendering of one of the finest, most pathetic, and evangelical of the Psalms.

PSALM XXVII.
The Lord he is my saving light, whom should I therefore feare?
He makes my foes to fall, whose teeth would me in sunder teare.
Though hostes of men besiege my soule, my heart shall never dread;
So that within his Court and Sight, my life may still be led:
For in his Church from trouble free, he shall me keepe in holde:
In spight of foes hIs wondrous prayse, my song shall still unfold.
Have mercie (Lord) therefore on me, and heare me when I cry:
Thou bidst me looke with hope on thee, for help to thee I fly—
In wrath therefore hide not thy face, but be thou still my aide;
Though parents 'fayle thou wilt assist, thy promise so hath said.
Teach me thy truth, and thy right, path, least that the enemy,
Prevaile against my life, whose tongues entrap me treacherously.
My heart would faint for feare, unless my faith did build on thee;
My hopes my God, and comforts strength, who will deliver me.