The poem is an exploration of the metaphysical condition of love, pain, and the encompassing nature of existence. The poem opens with the speaker wondering about the nature of joy, pain, and the experiences of "the utmost bitter, and the utmost sweet." This is expressed in the stanzas leading to the fourth one, where the speaker receives an answer to their query. The divine power states that they will reveal to the child the dualistic and converging nature of "all passionate rapture and despair." As the poem concludes with this statement from the divine power, the closing lines reveals the duality of life and death and how each is encompassed within the other. The poem seeks to explore both opposites, only to find that one is meshed within the other.