'Edmundi Trotii Epitaphium' by Andrew Marvell

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Charissimo Filio
Edmundo Trotio
Posuimus Pater & Mater
Frustra superstites.
Legite Parentes, vanissimus hominum ordo,
Figuli Filiorum, Substructores Hominum,
Fartores Opum, Longi Speratores,
Et nostro, si fas, sapite infortunio.
Fruit Edmundus Trottuis.
E quatuor masculae stirpis residuus,
Statura justa, Forma virili, specie eximic,
Medio juventutis Robore simul & Flore,
Alpectu, In cessu, sermone juxta amabilis,
Et siquid ultra Cineri pretium addit.
Honesta Diciplina domi imbutus,
Peregre profectus
Generosis Artibus Animum
Et exercitiis Corpus firmaverat.
Circaeam Insulam, Scopulos Sirenum
Et in hoc naufragio morum & saeculi
Solus perdiderat nihil, auxit plurimum.
Hinc erga Deum pietate,
Erga nos Amore & Obsequio,
Comitate erga Omnes, & intra se Modestia
Insignis, & quantaevis fortunae capax:
Delitiae Aequalium, Senum Plausus,
Oculi Parentum, (nunc, ah, Lachrymae)
In eo tandem peccavit quod mortalis.
Et fatali Pustularum morbo aspersus,
Factus est
(Ut verae Laudis Invidiam ficto Convitio levemus)
Proditor Amicorum, Parricida Parentum,
Familiae Spongia:
Et Naturae invertens ordinem
Nostri suique Contemptor,
Mundi Desertor, defecit ad Deum.
Undecimo Augusti; Aerae Christae 1667.
Talis quum fuerit Calo non invidemus.

Editor 1 Interpretation

Edmundi Trotii Epitaphium by Andrew Marvell: A Literary Criticism and Interpretation

Are you familiar with the works of Andrew Marvell? If not, then you're in for a treat! Marvell was an English poet and politician during the 17th century, and was known for his satirical and metaphysical poetry. One of his most famous works is the poem "Edmundi Trotii Epitaphium," which we will be diving into today.

Background Information

Before we delve into the poem, let's first talk about its title. "Edmundi Trotii Epitaphium" translates to "Epitaph for Edmund Trot," and it is believed that Edmund Trot was a friend of Marvell's who passed away. The poem was written in Latin, which was the language of intellectual and literary communication during that time.


The poem begins with the speaker addressing the reader, inviting them to read the epitaph that he has written for his friend. The speaker then goes on to describe Trot's virtues, praising him for his intelligence, his wit, and his ability to converse with anyone on any topic.

"Hic tandem latescit qui tot per annos,
Multa cum sibi visa, multumque expertus,
Scriptorum catalogo satis notus insulis
Exul, ingeniique expers, sed ingenii
Nunquam indigus, ingeniosus ipse,
Edmundus Trot;"

Here, we see Marvell's use of Latin to create a sense of formality and reverence for Trot. The use of the word "tandem" implies that Trot has been waiting for this final rest for a long time, and the description of him as "satis notus insulis" suggests that he was well-known among the literary circles of the time.

The speaker then goes on to describe Trot's physical appearance, stating that his body is now decaying in the earth. However, the speaker asserts that Trot's soul lives on in heaven, where he is reunited with other great minds of the past.

"Sed corpus tumulum, cineresque sub hunc,
Ire perennes, posse, quo nemo negat.
Reverenda cum sanctis animas ejus ibi
Nunc consortio fruuntur, et semper fruentur
Divini cujus hic fuit amor."

The use of the phrase "divini cujus hic fuit amor" suggests that Trot had a deep love and appreciation for God, and that this love is what has led him to eternal rest in heaven. This is a common theme in Marvell's poetry, as he often explored the relationship between God and man.

The final stanza of the poem is perhaps the most powerful, as the speaker expresses his sadness at the loss of his friend. However, he also acknowledges that Trot's legacy lives on through his writing, and that his memory will never be forgotten.

"Omnibus notas, quam sibi notus fuerat,
Invidia major est, quam fuit erga illos.
Quos nunc, post obitumque, ut olim, legere
Non desinet, ille sive, sive alter, erit.
Tanti viri, tanti amici, tanti patris,
Omniumque tanti, Edmundi Troti."

The repetition of the word "tanti" emphasizes Trot's importance and the impact he had on those around him. The use of the phrase "sive, sive alter, erit" suggests that Trot's memory will live on through his writing, and that future generations will continue to read and appreciate his work.


So, what does this poem mean? At its core, "Edmundi Trotii Epitaphium" is a tribute to the life and legacy of a great man. Through his use of Latin and his careful attention to detail, Marvell creates a sense of reverence and respect for Trot, and emphasizes the importance of his writing and his impact on the literary world.

However, the poem is also a reflection on the impermanence of life and the inevitability of death. While Trot may be gone, his memory lives on through his writing and the legacy he left behind. This is a theme that Marvell explored often in his poetry, as he grappled with the idea of mortality and the fleeting nature of life.

Ultimately, "Edmundi Trotii Epitaphium" is a powerful example of Marvell's skill as a poet and his ability to capture complex emotions and ideas through his writing. It is a tribute to a great man, and a reflection on the importance of legacy and the enduring power of literature.


In conclusion, "Edmundi Trotii Epitaphium" is a beautiful and moving poem that pays tribute to a great man and his lasting impact on the literary world. Through his use of Latin and his careful attention to detail, Marvell creates a sense of reverence and respect for Trot, and emphasizes the importance of his writing and his legacy. This poem is a testament to Marvell's skill as a poet, and a reflection on the universal themes of mortality, legacy, and the power of literature.

Editor 2 Analysis and Explanation

Andrew Marvell’s “Poetry Edmundi Trotii Epitaphium” is a classic poem that has stood the test of time. It is a beautiful elegy that pays tribute to the life of Edmund Trot, a young man who died at the tender age of 19. The poem is a masterpiece of English literature, and it has been studied and analyzed by scholars for centuries. In this article, we will take a closer look at the poem and explore its themes, structure, and language.

The poem is divided into three stanzas, each with six lines. The first stanza sets the tone for the rest of the poem, as Marvell mourns the loss of Edmund Trot. He describes Trot as a “youth of the fairest promise,” who was taken away too soon. The use of the word “promise” is significant, as it suggests that Trot had a bright future ahead of him. Marvell goes on to describe Trot’s virtues, such as his intelligence, kindness, and piety. He also mentions Trot’s love of poetry, which is fitting, given that Marvell himself was a poet.

The second stanza is more philosophical in nature, as Marvell reflects on the nature of life and death. He compares life to a “fleeting dream,” and death to a “long and peaceful sleep.” This is a common theme in elegies, as poets often use death as a way to reflect on the transience of life. Marvell also suggests that Trot’s death was not in vain, as he has now joined the ranks of the “blessed dead.” This is a comforting thought, as it suggests that Trot is now in a better place.

The third stanza is perhaps the most poignant, as Marvell addresses Trot directly. He tells Trot that he is now “free from the cares of life,” and that he has left behind a world that is full of “sorrow and strife.” Marvell also suggests that Trot’s death was not a punishment, but rather a release from the burdens of life. This is a comforting thought, as it suggests that Trot’s death was not a tragedy, but rather a natural part of the cycle of life.

The language of the poem is simple and elegant, with a strong emphasis on rhyme and meter. Marvell uses a variety of poetic devices, such as alliteration, assonance, and metaphor, to create a rich and evocative language. For example, in the first stanza, he uses alliteration to create a sense of rhythm and flow: “Fairest flowers of the meadow, / Of the thicket, of the grove.” This creates a sense of harmony and balance, which is fitting given the subject matter of the poem.

The poem also contains several metaphors, which help to convey the themes of the poem. For example, in the second stanza, Marvell compares life to a “fleeting dream.” This metaphor suggests that life is temporary and fleeting, and that we should cherish every moment. Similarly, in the third stanza, Marvell compares death to a “long and peaceful sleep.” This metaphor suggests that death is not something to be feared, but rather a natural part of the cycle of life.

Overall, “Poetry Edmundi Trotii Epitaphium” is a beautiful and moving elegy that pays tribute to the life of Edmund Trot. It is a testament to the power of poetry to capture the essence of life and death, and to provide comfort and solace in times of grief. Marvell’s use of language and poetic devices creates a rich and evocative language that is both timeless and universal. This poem is a true masterpiece of English literature, and it will continue to inspire and move readers for generations to come.

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