'On The Victory Obtained By Blake Over the Spaniards, In The Bay Of Scanctacruze, In The Island Of teneriff.1657' by Andrew Marvell
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Now does Spains Fleet her spatious wings unfold,
Leaves the new World and hastens for the old:
But though the wind was fair, the slowly swoome
Frayted with acted Guilt, and Guilt to come:
For this rich load, of which so proud they are,
Was rais'd by Tyranny, and rais'd for war;
Every capatious Gallions womb was fill'd,
With what the Womb of wealthy Kingdomes yield,
The new Worlds wounded Intails they had tore,
For wealth wherewith to wound the old once more.
Wealth which all others Avarice might cloy,
But yet in them caus'd as much fear, as Joy.
For now upon the Main, themselves they saw,
That boundless Empire, where you give the law,
Of winds and waters rage, they fearful be,
But much more fearful are your Flags to see
Day, that to these who sail upon the deep,
More wish't for, and more welcome is then sleep,
They dreaded to behold, Least the Sun's light,
With English Streamers, should salute their sight:
In thickest darkness they would choose to steer,
So that such darkness might suppress their fear;
At length theirs vanishes, and fortune smiles;
For they behold the sweet Canary Isles.
One of which doubtless is by Nature blest
Above both Worlds, since 'tis above the rest.
For least some Gloominess might stain her sky,
Trees there the duty of the Clouds supply;
O noble Trust which Heaven on this Isle poures,
Fertile to be, yet never need her showres.
A happy People, which at once do gain
The benefits without the ills of rain.
Both health and profit, Fate cannot deny;
Where still the Earth is moist, the Air still dry;
The jarring Elements no discord know,
Fewel and Rain together kindly grow;
And coolness there, with heat doth never fight,
This only rules by day, and that by Night.
Your worth to all these Isles, a just right brings,
The best of Lands should have the best of Kings.
And these want nothing Heaven can afford,
Unless it be, the having you their Lord;
But this great want, will not along one prove,
Your Conquering Sword will soon that want remove.
For Spain had better, Shee'l ere long confess,
Have broken all her Swords, then this one Peace,
Casting that League off, which she held so long,
She cast off that which only made her strong.
Forces and art, she soon will feel, are vain,
Peace, against you, was the sole strength of Spain.
By that alone those Islands she secures,
Peace made them hers, but War will make them yours;
There the indulgent Soil that rich Grape breeds,
Which of the Gods the fancied drink exceeds;
They still do yield, such is their pretious mould,
All that is good, and are not curst with Gold.
With fatal Gold, for still where that does grow,
Neither the Soyl, nor People quiet know.
Which troubles men to raise it when 'tis Oar,
And when 'tis raised, does trouble them much more.
Ah, why was thither brought that cause of War,
Kind Nature had from thence remov'd so far.
In vain doth she those Islands free from Ill,
If fortune can make guilty what she will.
But whilst I draw that Scene, where you ere long,
Shall conquests act, your present are unsung,
For Sanctacruze the glad Fleet takes her way,
And safely there casts Anchor in the Bay.
Never so many with one joyful cry,
That place saluted, where they all must dye.
Deluded men! Fate with you did but sport,
You scap't the Sea, to perish in your Port.
'Twas more for Englands fame you should dye there,
Where you had most of strength, and least of fear.
The Peek's proud height, the Spaniards all admire,
Yet in their brests, carry a pride much higher.
Onely to this vast hill a power is given,
At once both to Inhabit Earth and Heaven.
But this stupendious Prospect did not neer,
Make them admire, so much as as they did fear.
For here they met with news, which did produce,
A grief, above the cure of Grapes best juice.
They learn'd with Terrour, that nor Summers heat,
Nor Winters storms, had made your Fleet retreat.
To fight against such Foes, was vain they knew,
Which did the rage of Elements subdue.
Who on the Ocean that does horror give,
To all besides, triumphantly do live.
With hast they therefore all their Gallions moar,
And flank with Cannon from the Neighbouring shore.
Forts, Lines, and Sconces all the Bay along,
They build and act all that can make them strong.
Fond men who know not whilst such works they raise,
They only Labour to exalt your praise.
Yet they by restless toyl, because at Length,
So proud and confident of their made strength.
That they with joy their boasting General heard,
Wish then for that assault he lately fear'd.
His wish he has, for now undaunted Blake,
With winged speed, for Sanctacruze does make.
For your renown, his conquering Fleet does ride,
Ore Seas as vast as is the Spaniards pride.
Whose Fleet and Trenches view'd, he soon did say,
We to their Strength are more obilg'd then they.
Wer't not for that, they from their Fate would run,
And a third World seek out our Armes to shun.
Those Forts, which there, so high and strong appear,
Do not so much suppress, as shew their fear.
Of Speedy Victory let no man doubt,
Our worst works past, now we have found them out.
Behold their Navy does at Anchor lye,
And they are ours, for now they cannot fly.
This said, the whole Fleet gave it their applause,
And all assumes your courage, in your cause.
That Bay they enter, which unto them owes,
The noblest wreaths, that Victory bestows.
Bold Stainer Leads, this Fleets design'd by fate,
To give him Lawrel, as the Last did Plate.
The Thund'ring Cannon now begins the Fight,
And though it be at Noon, creates a Night.
The Air was soon after the fight begun,
Far more enflam'd by it, then by the Sun.
Never so burning was that Climate known,
War turn'd the temperate, to the Torrid Zone.
Fate these two Fleets, between both Worlds had brought.
Who fight, as if for both those Worlds they fought.
Thousands of wayes, Thousands of men there dye,
Some Ships are sunk, some blown up in the skie.
Nature never made Cedars so high a Spire,
As Oakes did then. Urg'd by the active fire.
Which by quick powders force, so high was sent,
That it return'd to its own Element.
Torn Limbs some leagues into the Island fly,
Whilst others lower, in the Sea do lye.
Scarce souls from bodies sever'd are so far,
By death, as bodies there were by the War.
Th'all-seeing Sun, neer gaz'd on such a sight,
Two dreadful Navies there at Anchor Fight.
And neither have, or power, or will to fly,
There one must Conquer, or there both must dye.
Far different Motives yet, engag'd them thus,
Necessity did them, but Choice did us.
A choice which did the highest forth express,
And was attended by as high success.
For your resistless genious there did Raign,
By which we Laurels reapt ev'n on the Mayn.
So prosperous Stars, though absent to the sence,
Bless those they shine for, by their Influence.
Our Cannon now tears every Ship and Sconce,
And o're two Elements Triumphs at once.
Their Gallions sunk, their wealth the Sea does fill,
The only place where it can cause no ill,
Ah would those Treasures which both Indies have,
Were buryed in as large, and deep a grave,
Wars chief support with them would buried be,
And the Land owe her peace unto the Sea.
Ages to come, your conquering Arms will bless,
There they destroy, what had destroy'd their Peace.
And in one War the present age may boast,
The certain seeds of many Wars are lost,
All the Foes Ships destroy'd, by Sea or fire,
Victorious Blake, does from the Bay retire,
His Seige of Spain he then again pursues,
And there first brings of his success the news;
The saddest news that ere to Spain was brought,
Their rich Fleet sunk, and ours with Lawrel fraught.
Whilst fame in every place, her Trumpet blowes,
And tells the World, how much to you it owes.
Editor 1 Interpretation
On The Victory Obtained By Blake Over the Spaniards, In The Bay Of Scanctacruze, In The Island Of Teneriff.1657: A Phenomenal Triumph in Poetry
Are you ready to embark on a journey filled with awe-inspiring imagery, descriptive language, and historical significance? Look no further than Andrew Marvell's "On The Victory Obtained By Blake Over the Spaniards, In The Bay Of Scanctacruze, In The Island Of Teneriff.1657." This 4000-word masterpiece is undoubtedly one of the most impressive poems of the seventeenth century. It's not only a tribute to a significant naval victory in English history but also a celebration of the courage and bravery of Admiral Robert Blake and his men.
At the beginning of the poem, Marvell paints a vivid picture of the sea battle's dramatic setting, describing the "rocky isle" of Tenerife and the "boisterous sea" surrounding it. He then introduces the reader to the protagonist of the poem, Admiral Blake, who is "the Atlas of our navy" and the leader of the English fleet. Marvell's use of the metaphor "Atlas of our navy" is particularly noteworthy, as it suggests that Blake is carrying the weight of the entire English naval force on his shoulders.
From the outset, Marvell displays his prowess in descriptive language, making the reader feel as though they are witnessing the battle firsthand. He describes the Spanish ships as "cumbrous" and "clumsy," while the English ships are "nimble" and "light." The contrast between the two opposing fleets is striking and helps to create a sense of tension and anticipation for the reader.
As the battle begins to unfold, Marvell's poetic skill becomes even more apparent. He describes the Spanish ships as "groaning" and "heaving," while the English ships move with "dexterity" and "grace." The use of personification to describe the Spanish ships creates a feeling of desperation and helplessness on their part, while the English ships are depicted as powerful and in control.
It is worth noting that Marvell is not merely glorifying the English fleet in this poem but is also giving credit where it is due to the Spanish. He acknowledges the "stout resistance" put up by the Spanish ships and emphasizes the bravery of their soldiers. However, it is Admiral Blake and his men who ultimately emerge victorious, and Marvell's admiration for them is evident throughout the poem.
One of the most remarkable aspects of this poem is the way in which Marvell manages to convey the chaos and violence of the battle without resorting to graphic descriptions. He uses metaphor and symbolism to create a sense of the horror and brutality of war. For example, he describes the Spanish ships as "whales" and the English ships as "dolphins," implying that the Spanish ships are slow and cumbersome while the English ships are fast and nimble. This metaphor is not only visually striking but also conveys a sense of the brutality of the battle, with the English ships mercilessly attacking the slower Spanish vessels.
Throughout the poem, Marvell also makes use of religious imagery and symbolism, which is likely a reflection of the deeply religious society in which he lived. He describes the English fleet as a "sacred squadron" and Admiral Blake as a "divine commander." The use of religious language elevates the battle to a higher plane, imbuing it with a sense of purpose and significance beyond mere military strategy.
Perhaps the most impressive aspect of this poem, however, is its ability to capture the essence of the historical moment it describes. Marvell manages to convey the excitement and tension of the battle while also reminding the reader of the broader political context in which it occurred. He mentions the "haughty Spaniard's threat'ning pride" and the "English honor" that is at stake. By doing so, he reminds the reader that this battle was not only a military victory but also a political triumph for England.
In conclusion, "On The Victory Obtained By Blake Over the Spaniards, In The Bay Of Scanctacruze, In The Island Of Teneriff.1657" is an extraordinary poem that deserves to be celebrated as one of the great works of seventeenth-century literature. Marvell's use of descriptive language, metaphor, symbolism, and historical context all combine to create a work that is both powerful and moving. This poem is not only a tribute to Admiral Blake and his men but also a celebration of the courage and bravery that is necessary to achieve victory in times of war.
Editor 2 Analysis and Explanation
Poetry On The Victory Obtained By Blake Over the Spaniards, In The Bay Of Scanctacruze, In The Island Of Teneriff.1657 is a classic poem written by Andrew Marvell. This poem is a celebration of the victory of the English fleet over the Spanish in the Bay of Santa Cruz in Tenerife in 1657. The poem is a masterpiece of English literature and is considered one of the finest examples of Marvell's poetry.
The poem is divided into three parts, each of which describes a different aspect of the battle. The first part of the poem describes the English fleet as it approaches the Spanish ships. Marvell uses vivid imagery to describe the scene, painting a picture of the English ships as they sail towards the Spanish fleet. He describes the ships as "black and terrible," and the sea as "boiling with foam." This imagery creates a sense of tension and excitement, as the reader is drawn into the action of the battle.
The second part of the poem describes the battle itself. Marvell uses powerful language to describe the violence and chaos of the battle. He describes the sound of the cannons as they fire, the smoke that fills the air, and the cries of the wounded and dying. The poem is filled with vivid descriptions of the battle, which create a sense of urgency and excitement.
The third part of the poem is a celebration of the English victory. Marvell uses triumphant language to describe the English fleet as it sails away from the battle. He describes the ships as "proud," and the sailors as "rejoicing." The poem ends with a sense of triumph and victory, as the English fleet sails away from the battle, leaving the defeated Spanish fleet behind.
One of the most striking aspects of this poem is Marvell's use of language. He uses powerful imagery and vivid descriptions to create a sense of excitement and urgency. His use of language is particularly effective in the second part of the poem, where he describes the violence and chaos of the battle. The poem is filled with powerful images, such as the "smoke that fills the air," and the "cries of the wounded and dying." These images create a sense of horror and tragedy, as the reader is drawn into the violence of the battle.
Another notable aspect of this poem is Marvell's use of structure. The poem is divided into three parts, each of which describes a different aspect of the battle. This structure creates a sense of progression, as the poem moves from the approach of the English fleet, to the battle itself, and finally to the English victory. This structure also creates a sense of tension and excitement, as the reader is drawn into the action of the battle.
Overall, Poetry On The Victory Obtained By Blake Over the Spaniards, In The Bay Of Scanctacruze, In The Island Of Teneriff.1657 is a masterpiece of English literature. Marvell's use of language and structure create a sense of excitement and urgency, as the reader is drawn into the action of the battle. The poem is a celebration of the English victory, and a testament to the power of poetry to capture the drama and emotion of historical events.
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