Spring and Fall to a Young Child Understanding Each Line

The poem can be divided into three parts: the first four lines speak of the situation of the child, named Margaret in the poem, and her impending sadness over the changing leaves, as well as a child’s sadness over the material things, which come to pass as the seasons’ change. The first line can be interpreted as the beckoning of an adult to any child and in this case, a name is given: Margaret. The second line represents how the child sees material things in general, and the third line is the material object, can be man-made, and the fourth is the child’s attachment to these material and man-made things.
The second part of the poem speaks of an advice given to the child Margaret, of pain and sadness as parts of growing up and learning new experiences, for she will get sad over other things, but will gain greater strength while overcoming them. Lines five to nine would explain to her that pain comes to pass, with each pain stronger than the last:
The fifth line tells of how maturity comes to each person, the sixth line tells of sadder times or worse times, and the seventh line tells of how the reactions of a person may vary depending on the intensity of each kind of sadness. While the eighth line implies that a person may not always show the true emotions with each painful experience, the ninth shows how each kind of pain, whether great or small would always have an effect to any person.
The last six lines would be a conclusion to the realization that sadness can come in many ways, but one would weep or be affected the most by the kind of sadness that is brought upon by things unseen by the eyes but felt by the heart:
Line 10 beckons the child to listen again, and the eleventh line speaks of how each kind of pain, although varying in intensity always hurts. Line 12 speaks of the inability of the mind and the heart to fully express the true feelings of pain, the thirteenth line is a revelation of another face of pain.