“Nothing Gold Can Stay” has an elegiac tone. The term elegiac derives from a mournful type of poem known as an elegy, which typically centers on the loss of something cherished. Elegies often grieve the passing of beloved individuals, but they can just as well lament the loss of anything the poet may hold dear. As this definition suggests, elegies are characterized by a serious and often very grave tone. Indeed, the very word, elegy, may derive from a Greek phrase that translates as, “woe, cry” (é lege). Although Frost’s poem doesn’t feature such obviously plaintive language, it is nonetheless suffused with a sense of loss. In fact, all five of the sentences that make up the poem speak to the theme of loss. The first sentence describes how the green hue of spring quickly disappears, since it’s the “hardest hue to hold” (line 2). In the second sentence, the speaker laments how, after the bud opens into a flower, that new form only remains for “an hour” (line 4). Similarly elegiac sentiments repeat in the final three sentences, the last of which utters the poem’s thesis, which is also its title: “Nothing gold can stay” (line 8).