A poem by English metaphysical poet Andrew Marvell. Following the full text of Marvell's pastoral, there is a explanation of the story of Chloe and Daphnis.
must from Chloe
Now is come the dismal Hour
That must all his Hopes devour,
All his Labour, all his Art.
Nature, her own Sexes foe,
Long had taught her to be coy:
But she neither knew t' enjoy,
Nor yet let her Lover go.
But, with this sad News surpriz'd,
Soon she let that Niceness fall;
And would gladly yield to all,
So it had his stay compriz'd.
Nature so her self does use
To lay by her wonted State,
Left the World should separate;
Sudden Parting closer glews.
He, well read in all the wayes
By which men their Siege maintain,
Knew not that the Fort to gain
Better 'twas the siege to raise.
But he came so full possest
With the Grief of Parting thence,
That he had not so much Sence
As to see he might be blest.
Till Love in her Language breath'd
Words she never spake before;
But than Legacies no more
To a dying Man bequeath'd.
For, Alas, the time was spent,
Now the latest minut's run
When poor Daphnis is undone,
Between Joy and Sorrow rent.
At that Why, that Stay my Dear,
His disorder'd Locks he tare;
And with rouling Eyes did glare,
And his cruel Fate forswear.
As the Soul of one scarce dead,
With the shrieks of Friends aghast,
Looks distracted back in hast,
And then streight again is fled.
So did wretched Daphnis look,
Frighting her he loved most.
At the last, this Lovers Ghost
Thus his Leave resolved took.
Are my Hell and Heaven Joyn'd
More to torture him that dies?
Could departure not suffice,
But that you must then grow kind?
Ah my Chloe how have I
Such a wretched minute found,
When thy Favours should me wound
More than all thy Cruelty?
So to the condemned Wight
The delicious Cup we fill;
And allow him all he will,
For his last and short Delight.
But I will not now begin
Such a Debt unto my Foe;
Nor to my Departure owe
What my Presence could not win.
Absence is too much alone:
Better 'tis to go in peace,
Than my Losses to increase
By a late Fruition.
Why should I enrich my Fate?
'Tis a Vanity to wear,
For my Executioner,
Jewels of so high a rate.
Rather I away will pine
In a manly stubborness
Than be fatted up express
For the Canibal to dine.
Whilst this grief does thee disarm,
All th' Enjoyment of our Love
But the ravishment would prove
Of a Body dead while warm.
And I parting should appear
Like the Gourmand Hebrew dead,
While with Quailes and Manna fed,
He does through the Desert err;
Or the Witch that midnight wakes
For the Fern, whose magick Weed
In one minute casts the Seed,
And invisible him makes.
Gentler times for Love are ment:
Who for parting pleasure strain
Gather Roses in the rain,
Wet themselves and spoil their Sent.
Farewel therefore all the fruit
Which I could from Love receive:
Joy will not with Sorrow weave,
Nor will I this Grief pollute.
Fate I come, as dark, as sad,
As thy Malice could desire;
Yet bring with me all the Fire
That Love in his Torches had.
At these words away he broke;
As who long has praying ly'n,
To his Heads-man makes the Sign,
And receives the parting stroke.
But hence Virgins all beware.
Last night he with Phlogis slept;
This night for Dorinda kept;
And but rid to take the Air.
Yet he does himself excuse;
Nor indeed without a Cause.
For, according to the Lawes,
Why did Chloe once refuse?
The story of Daphnis and Chloe was told by Greek poet Longus in a pastoral romance, and is also the subject of numerous paintings, including Daphnis et Chloe by Marc Chagall and a work by Ricardo Lopez Cabrera. Maurice Ravel wrote a ballet score on the subject. It focuses on the innocent adolescent romance between Daphnis and Chloe.
Daphnis and Chloe, boy and girl, were ancient Greek foundlings, Daphnis raised by goats and Chloe by ewes. They were found by a goatherd (Lamon) and a shepherd (Dryas), each of whom kept a baby and raised it. Hermes, the winged messenger of the gods, came to each family in dreams, and asked that Daphnis look after a herd of goats, and Chloe become a shepherdess.
Daphnis and Chloe fell in love when she rescued him from a pit-trap dug to catch a wolf, although for a long time they did not realise the nature of their feelings, not knowing it was love they felt. Daphnis was then abducted by pirates, but rescued by Chloe with the aid of Dorcon who also loved Chloe but had been fatally wounded by the attackers. They had various other adventures, being threatened by other men who love Chloe, such as the cowherd Lampis, who defaced Daphnis's master's garden and later kidnapped Chloe.
At first Daphnis and Chloe's hopes of marriage were frustrated by Daphnis's father, and numerous misunderstandings hindered their passage to the altar.
In the end, Daphnis turned out to be the child of Dionysophanes, Daphnis and Lamon's master, who had felt he could not support any more children when Daphnis was born, but subsequently two of his other children had died. Finally Daphnis and Chloe were married, and Chloe was revealed to be the child of the rich man Megacles, who had been temporarily short of money when she was born. Daphnis and Chloe lived happily ever after, giving their own son and daughter to be raised by goats and sheep.
Pastoral subject matter such as the story of Daphnis and Chloe was typical of Marvell. Pastoral, which tells of shepherds watching their flocks and playing simple music, was a popular form in Marvell's time, the 17th Century, and he wrote many poems in the genre, such as The Mower's Song. Longus's version of the story was translated into English in 1657 by George Thornley.
However, Marvell's Daphnis and Chloe, published in 1681 but written earlier, takes a different path to most of the representations of the story. It does not relate to Longus's tale of the two lovers, being rather a sad poem of lovers parting. Phlogis and Dorinda, mentioned in the penultimate stanza, are not part of the traditional tale. Rather, in calling his poem Daphnis and Chloe, Andrew Marvell is using the names of the famous lovers as a colouring to his own tale of heartbreak.