"Lochinvar" is a study of human relationships and the moral struggles involved in correct roles and duties. In both form and content, the language of the poem creates an ongoing theme of conflict and challenge between the different characters.
"Lochinvar" is a ballad with eight six-line stanzas. It tells the story of a Scottish knight, "young Lochinvar," who is described as faithful and true but who arrives at the wedding of his romantic interest to steal her away for his own. The building of conflict in the poem involves using active and passive language to set up Lochinvar, the archetype of bold action, as the hero of the tale. Positive adjectives and descriptors compound this role. The poem generally describes a battle of will and conflicting desires.