ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Edward de Vere's "Whenas the heart at tennis plays, and men to gaming fall"

Updated on January 23, 2020
Maya Shedd Temple profile image

Poetry became my passion, after I fell in love with Walter de la Mare's "Silver" in Mrs. Edna Pickett's sophomore English class, circa 1962.

Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford

Source

Introduction and Text of "Whenas the heart at tennis plays, and men to gaming fall"

Scholars and critics and other readers of the writings of Shakespeare are coming around to the notion that Edward de Vere, the 17th Earl of Oxford employed the pen-name "William Shakespeare" under which he published his now widely famous plays and sonnets.

One of the most convincing reasons for the conclusion that de Vere wrote the works is that the man from Stratford had little education and none of the experience that de Vere had. Clearly, a highly educated and experienced individual was responsible for the texts we now know as those of "William Shakespeare."

Readers will be able to detect the similarities between this sonnet, "Whenas the heart at tennis plays," published under de Vere's name and the sonnets published under his pen-name, "William Shakespeare." Because the following poem was written early in de Vere's career, it will also be noticeable that it is not as polished as his later works, when he was publishing under his pseudonym.

Whenas the heart at tennis plays, and men to gaming fall

Whenas the heart at tennis plays, and men to gaming fall,
Love is the court, hope is the house, and favour serves the ball.
The ball itself is true desert; the line ,which measure shows,
Is reason, whereon judgment looks how players win or lose.
The jetty is deceitful guile; the stopper, jealousy,
Which hath Sir Argus' hundred eyes wherewith to watch and pry.
The fault, wherewith fifteen is lost, is want of wit and sense,
And he that brings the racket in is double diligence.
And lo, the racket is freewill, which makes the ball rebound;
And noble beauty is the chase, of every game the ground.
But rashness strikes the ball awry, and where is oversight?
and quote; A bandy ho,and quote; the people cry, and so the ball takes flight.
Now, in the end, good-liking proves content the game and gain.
Thus, in a tennis, knit I love, a pleasure mixed with pain.

Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford

Source

Untitled Poems

When a poem is untitled, its first line becomes the title. According to the MLA Style Manuel: "When the first line of a poem serves as the title of the poem, reproduce the line exactly as it appears in the text." APA does not address this issue.

Commentary

The speaker is dramatizing the comparison he has observed of two people falling in love and two people playing tennis.

First Quatrain: Two Hearts

Whenas the heart at tennis plays, and men to gaming fall,
Love is the court, hope is the house, and favour serves the ball.
The ball itself is true desert; the line ,which measure shows,
Is reason, whereon judgment looks how players win or lose.

In the first quatrain, the speaker suggests that the two hearts involved in the romance of falling in love behave as two people playing tennis: "Love is the court, hope is the house, and favour serves the ball." The speaker then claims that "The ball itself is true desert; the line, which measure shows, / Is reason, whereon judgment looks how players win or lose."

The idea of winning and losing refers to the success of each lover in accomplishing the goals each takes for itself in the love relationship. The tennis ball might metaphorically compare to love-letters, conversations, or other exchanges of love between the two partners, while the "line, which measure shows" is the gauge for judgment of each partner or "reason."

Second Quatrain: Negative Activities

The jetty is deceitful guile; the stopper, jealousy,
Which hath Sir Argus' hundred eyes wherewith to watch and pry.
The fault, wherewith fifteen is lost, is want of wit and sense,
And he that brings the racket in is double diligence.

The second quatrain likens all of the negative activities that lovers might engage in while trying to secure their relationship: "The jetty is deceitful guile; the stopper, jealousy, / Which hath Sir Argus' hundred eyes wherewith to watch and pry." Because of jealousy especially, the over-zealous lover might seem to have a "hundred eyes" as he watches every move his beloved makes.

If he lacks "wit and sense," the jealous lover might discover that "The fault, wherewith fifteen is lost" while "he that brings the racket in is double diligence." The jealous lover then goes without his joy as he fantasizes hurts. Thus he does not return the necessary volley of love messages, and because he loses patience, he fails to play, behaving as would a tennis player who through fits of anger breaks his tennis racket and storms off the tennis court.

Third Quatrain: Keeping the Ball in Play

And lo, the racket is freewill, which makes the ball rebound;
And noble beauty is the chase, of every game the ground.
But rashness strikes the ball awry, and where is oversight?
"A bandy ho," the people cry, and so the ball takes flight.

On the other hand, the tennis racket should compare to "freewill" because it keeps the ball in play, which has a "noble beauty" as the players chase the ball over the court. But the kind of "rashness" that "the stopper" would engage would cause the "ball" to go "awry." And those who are watching the "game" would gladly cheer as the ball is properly volleyed.

Couplet: Both Pleasure and Pain

Now, in the end, good-liking proves content the game and gain.
Thus, in a tennis, knit I love, a pleasure mixed with pain.

In the couplet, the speaker reports that a calm ever-increasing shared relationship is like a game that contains both "game and gain." However, for the entire game or relationship, the speaker has realized that it is a game mixed with pleasure and pain.

Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford

Source

The Authentic "Shakespeare" Writer

Many Shakespeare scholars now believe that instead of man from Stratford it was the 17th Earl of Oxford, Edward de Vere, who wrote the works attributed to William Shakespeare.

For useful and informative works discussing the writings of Edward de Vere and how they suggest that he was, in fact, the real "Shakespeare," please visit "'Shakespeare'" Revealed in Oxford's Poetry" and "Hank’s 100 Reasons Why Oxford was 'Shakespeare' — The List To Date."

Please note: The following video features the best discussion of this issue available.

Did Shakespeare Really Write Shakespeare? – Tom Regnier

© 2017 Linda Sue Grimes

Comments

Submit a Comment

No comments yet.

working

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://maven.io/company/pages/privacy

Show Details
Necessary
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Features
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Marketing
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Statistics
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)