As seen in "The world is too much with us," Wordsworth believes that the loss stems from being too caught up in material possessions. As we grow up, we spend more and more time trying to figure out how to attain wealth, all the while becoming more and more distanced from nature. The poem is characterized by a strange sense of duality. Even though the world around the speaker is beautiful, peaceful, and serene, he is sad and angry because of what he (and humanity) has lost. Because nature is a kind of religion to Wordsworth, he knows that it is wrong to be depressed in nature's midst and pulls himself out of his depression for as long as he can.
Midway through the poem, there is a split between the two actions of the poem: the first attempts to identify with the nightingale and its song, and the second discusses the convergence of the past with the future while experiencing the present. This second theme is reminiscent of Keats's view of human progression through the Mansion of Many Apartments and how man develops from experiencing and wanting only pleasure to understanding truth as a mixture of both pleasure and pain. The Elysian fields and the nightingale's song in the first half of the poem represent the pleasurable moments that overwhelm the individual like a drug. However, the experience does not last forever, and the body is left desiring it until the narrator feels helpless without the pleasure. Instead of embracing the coming truth, the narrator clings to poetry to hide from the loss of pleasure. Poetry does not bring about the pleasure that the narrator original asks for, but it does liberate him from his desire for only pleasure.