He can't seem to be able to handle her and he feels that she needs more that he can give her.For me this song is about a unique or unusual love relationship. The two people in the relationship know that their love is only for them, only for each other."I've often tried to hold the sea the sun , the fields, the tide, means like with this person he's unmatcheable , or he's trying to grab on to something so much greater than he is. Be with me now, lay me down(dieing, possibly) so that he can feel the complete fullness of this great thing. As a poet, I think these song lyrics are very beautiful.
I think it's quite likely a song about a man who is in love with a girl much older or younger than himself, or a girl who, due to reasons of race, culture or religion is not someone whom his peers would consider it appropriate for him to have a relationship neone else notice tht at the end of the chorus he says "Pay me now, Lay me down"?
However, as is the way, their relationship is still subject to the external pressures of society. However, despite the opinions of people, Ed talks of how he has always strived to achieve things seen as being above him or unobtainable, as in a way their love is seen. They could easily be together but they would not be accepted so he keeps to himself.
The "pay me now, lay me down" bit I believe to be like saying how he wants the climax of their courtship - sex. The chorus states that they are very alike and live in the same world.ex:"all over you, all over me, the sun, the fields, the sky".
The reference to trying to hold the sea and the tide reflects the impossibility of the relationship.
"No other than me alone, for me all day" is their separation from each other, he is alone, she longs for him all day.
I've got to agree with a couple of other posters, I think that the song is about a forbidden or otherwise taboo relationship.