This one might seem too obvious, but stick with us here. Time is definitely a factor in that the changing of the seasons is all about the passage of time. The interesting and tricky thing about time here is that it’s hard to tell whether the coming of spring – this big event we’ve been talking about so much – really happens in this poem at all. The speaker definitely imagines it in the future, but is he watching it happen too? Is the time in this poem in the real world, or in his mind? When the plants "grip down, and begin to awaken," are we seeing them come up, or just imagining what’s going to happen?
Although the speaker of the poem imagines a big change about to take place, nothing actually happens in this poem.