“Nothing Gold Can Stay” consists of a single eight-line stanza composed of four rhyming couplets. Each of the poem’s five sentences reflects similar ideas about ephemerality and the melancholy feeling that arises from the inevitability of change. In this sense, the poem is structured around a sustained preoccupation with the sense of loss that often comes with change. However, it is arguably the case that the speaker grows increasingly distraught over the course of the poem, ultimately moving from a subtle feeling of melancholy to a strong feeling of pessimism. Consider the poem’s first half, where the speaker reflects on how, at the arrival of spring, the natural world bursts into green buds. Beautiful flowers replace these buds, but they, like the green buds they grew from, only remain for a short while. The speaker clearly feels sad about this transience. However, that sadness transforms into pessimism in the poem’s second half. There, the speaker references the “grief” (line 6) of Eden, which in turn alludes to the biblical Fall—a fundamental trauma that resulted in all humans being born with an “original sin.” The poem thus begins as a meditation on transformation but grows into a reflection on decline.