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Last Updated on August 6, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 521

I am sick for sure but what the malady is I do not know. I am in pain but can find no bruise. I am distressed but none of my sheep is missing. I feel a burning yet am sitting in thick shade.

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So says Chloe on reflecting on the pangs of love she feels for Daphnis, although she has never heard of the word love nor of its meaning. Chloe, like Daphnis, was left exposed in the countryside as a child. She was raised in the wild and suckled by animals that took pity on her until she was discovered by shepherds. Consequently, both young people both were raised in close to a state of nature and adopted by simple rural parents. The poet uses this background of natural rural innocence to describe the power and bittersweet pangs of love as experienced by a girl who has no way of knowing what is happening to her.

Now Spring was ended and Summer begun and all things were at their prime. The trees were laden with fruit, the fields with grain. Pleasant was the chirping of the cricket, sweet the aroma of fruit, delightful the bleating of lambs. One might fancy that even the rivers in their gentle course murmured soft music, that breezes piped when they breathed upon the pines, that apples fell to earth out of love, and that the sun who is a lover of beauty stripped all things of their covering.

Here is a fine example of the classical Greek love of rustic nature in its raw and simple beauty. There is no need for the poet to resort to exotic settings, animals, plants, or events. The simple beauty of summer in the wilds with its sights, sounds, and smells delighted the ancient Greeks and Romans, who took natural rustic beauty to be under the protection of the nymphs and rustic gods like Pan and Dionysus, to whom they offered sacrifices when sojourning in the countryside. The...

(The entire section contains 521 words.)

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