Brontë uses the extended metaphors of plants to represent the different types of love. Even though the ‘holly is dark’ in spring and summer when the rose is bright and blooming, by wintertime, the ‘silly rose-wreath’ will have wilted when the holly will still have its ‘sheen’. Similarly Brontë implies that friendship will last and stay constant through all seasons, whereas love, though ‘wild’ and ‘sweet’ in season, will not be as lasting.
She acknowledges the excitement that comes with romantic love, but reminds us that it is fleeting. Friendship, on the other hand, will be there during both difficult and good times.