This five-stanza poem takes on a playful rhyme scheme and meter, despite its serious and somewhat morbid subject. The first four stanzas are ABCB quatrains, each made up of terse lines to communicate the brevity of life, which is the subject of this poem. The final stanza, however, is an AABB rhyme scheme, a pair of rhyming couplets, which lends an even more playful quality to the poem as a whole while offering a moral or coda to the entire work. This poem also returns to Blake's theme in Songs of Experience of the place of thought in the quality and quantity of human life. The speaker harms the fly with his "thoughtless hand," indicating that thoughtlessness leads to death. Whatever power exists higher than the speaker may also be thoughtless or completely indifferent to human life, but that cannot be changed. The speaker thus resolves to live each moment fully, but his moment of contemplation leads him to this life-affirming conclusion.