"The Ecchoing Green" begins with a simple, singsongy depiction of a spring morning in an English village. In jaunty couplets, the speaker imagines that everything in the world is happy simply to exist on a day like this one.
What's more, everything in the world is happy to exist together. In this poem's world, the sunrise makes the personified "skies" happy, and the church bells are "merry" as they "welcome the Spring." And the spring birds get into a singing contest with the bells, chirping ever "louder." Everything seems to be filled with life and joy.
Even the poem's sounds mimic the bells and the birds: the bouncy alliteration of "birds of the bush" and the assonance of "louder around" help readers to imagine themselves right in the middle of this springtime hullaballoo.
Part of the delight of existence here is that it's shared. All these personified things enjoy each other's company. Spring sunlight seems to have brought communal happiness to the whole world. And this sense of collective, joyful life will animate the whole poem.
At a first glance, these are pretty simple and traditional opening lines. The joy of spring is one of the oldest poetic themes there is, and rhymed couplets like those seen here (note how all the poem's lines come in rhyming pairs) are of the commonest forms.
But the personification in these first few lines hints at complexities to come. This poem will explore, not just the way that spring makes the world seem vibrantly alive, but the way that people and nature are intimately connected. And that connection doesn't only mean that people get to enjoy the spring right alongside the skies and the sun: it means that they're bound to natural cycles of birth and death, just as the seasons are.