Henry Lok prefaces his devotional collection with a fulsome Spenserian sonnet addressed to Queen Elizabeth. Many Spenserian sonnets follow. As one of Lord Burghley's secret agents, he was not likely to have been close to Spenser's circle, though he seems to have been much taken with the dedicatory sonnets in the Faerie Queene: appended to this volume are threescore sonnets in the Spenserian pattern addressed to various persons at court.
Thomas Warton: "I observe here, in general, that Thomas Hudson and Henry Lock were the Bavius and Maevius of this age. In The Return from Parnassus, 1606, they are thus consigned to oblivion by Judicio. 'Locke and Hudson, sleep you quiet shavers among the shavings of the press, and let your books lie in some old nook amongst old boots and shoes, so you may avoid my censure'.... Lock 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. This book is dedicated, under the title of The Passionate Present, to queen Elizabeth, who, perhaps, from the title expected to be entertained with a subject of a very different nature" in Chalmers's English Poets (1810) 5:228-29.
To you thrise sacred Princesse of this Ile:
By God, By countrie, By true wisdomes praise,
Elect, Annointed, Soveraigne, is the stile,
Religious Empresse, Beautie of our dayes,
His Church you cherish, that your state did raise,
Our peace you purchase, where your throne is plast,
Eternall glorie on your actions stayes;
Rare, Crowned, Vertue: Holy, Humble, Chast,
Whom all heavens high perfections fully grac't,
Whom all earth honors, should, do, will adorne:
Whom all the Muses have with love embrac't:
Who doth pale Envie, and blind Fortune scorne;
To you wise kings discourse of blisse I bring,
Renowned Queene, true type of happiest King.