The musical quality of rhythm is important in this poem because it is about time as much as it is about love.
In the first stanza, the speaker uses simile to compare his love to a "red, red rose, / That's newly sprung in June." The love he has is fresh, new, and bursting with life.
The overall tone at the beginning of the poem is loving and fanciful, though towards the end it has a sense of longing, which impacts the reader by giving them positive thoughts and an overall happy mood.
Powerful themes are demonstrated throughout the poem. For instance in stanza four, line one, where the poet states, “And fare thee weel, my only luve”, it expresses the speaker’s immense love and sorrow of having to part from the young lady.
Again, the speaker reassures his beloved that he will love her "While the sands o' life shall run." This could mean he will love her for all time or until the end of her or his life.
What seemed like a very simple poem about love becomes a philosophical inquiry on time and the question of how love exists in time. In the last stanza, the speaker announces that he will be away from his beloved for "a while" indicating that he will return, but we have no idea how long "a while" really is.A rose can be associated with many things, which include love, passion and romance.Also the colour red can also be related to passionate feelings.Just as the rose's color will fade, his love is subject to the same decay.It is also harmonious and musical like a song "sweetly played in tune." One could say that a song is timeless but the song itself, having a beginning and end in time, is also temporary.In stanza one and two, line one is an Iambic tetrameter and line two to four is an iambic tri-meter, but in stanza three and four, line two until four is neither an iambic tetrameter nor a tri-meter, but it rather consists of seven syllables, but line one to three is an iambic tetrameter still.The poet also uses a lot of repetition to bring this poem to life, this is clearly shown in in stanza four, line one and two where it states ‘and fare thee well’.The speaker, recognizing that his love might fade, reassures his beloved saying he will love her "Till a' the seas gang dry." Seemingly, this will be a long time, perhaps until the end of the world.But he doesn't say "forever." So, there may be some indication that even a love as powerful as this has, like the rose and the song, a limit in time.In other words, maybe it (love) only seems brief because it is experienced in time.Perhaps the speaker is trying to conceive of how to extract this brief moment of vibrant love from time itself, so that it would not be limited by the confines of time.