The narrator exultantly cries how sweet it is to love. But he’s not done yet. Exultation pours forth about how desire is endowed with a special sort of pleasure when it is felt by the young. But love is about more than feeling good. The poet goes on to recognize that there is with joy of love and desire a certain special kind of ache that likely to comes with. But the pain that aches with the onset of love is even itself somehow pleasurable. At least it is more pleasurable than other types of pain.
That pain of love. There really is something about it. The downside of desire is better, or the poet seems to suggest, than upside of some other emotions. For instance, the sad sighs that can arrive with the downside of falling in love and the tears that follow suit are capable of having a calmative effect on the heartbroken. How much sweeter can it be to love than that to have the death of that love still allow for the power to soothe that broken heart?
The poet next makes a comparison between love and time. Just as one should revere the allowance of time they are given on earth, so should one maintain a reverence for love and neither dole it out nor accept it unwisely. At the same time, he reminds us that when it comes desire and love, there really is something special about experiencing them when one is young. After all, as one ages, the opportunities diminish so while one should not glibly hand out love, neither should one ignore the chance for love on the expectation that it will be a gift in which the returns do not diminish over time.
It is worth remembering that the opportunity to express love diminishes with the years just as the opportunities to receive love. When one is young, those feelings of desire seem almost capable of bursting right through one’s body as if it flows through as part of the life blood. The years take their toll not just on the desire one stimulates in others, however, but in the capacity for desiring others that seems so boundless in the bloom of youth.