Have you ever been so happy that you never wanted the feeling to end – and you actually made yourself kind of unhappy by thinking about the fact that it had to end? The woman in this poem is content as she eats a breakfast outside in the sun, but she knows that Sunday mornings don’t last forever. She wonders if she might be better off if she believed in the Christian idea of eternal happiness in heaven. But, eventually she settles on the more fragile idea of happiness among the changing cycles of nature. Or, maybe she decides that happiness just isn’t that important after all?
The ring of pagan men are the happiest people in the poem, but such people would never survive in a modern society, because they have no concern for the future.