What do the metaphors of 'ice' and 'fire' convey to the readers? Don't they represent the two extremes of human behaviour that can lead to the destruction and death of this world?

Dear Student,
The poet is talking about the universal issue of the world's end here. This poem has an inherent message as well as a warning to humans. The man keeps shifting between the two extremes - fire and ice. Sometimes one is driven by unbridled passion, fury, lusts, desires and longing. This results in avarice, passionate love and greed. Such extremes often lead to disasters and unavoidable conflicts. If these maligned emotions are not controlled they can lead to the world's ending.
The other extreme stems from cold and icy reasoning. We breed hatred when our cold reasoning gets devoid of warmth, love, sympathy and feelings. Such hatred that is born of rigidity, cold indifference and insensitivity are strong enough to cause the end of the world. Such end could be delayed and even avoided if humanity can redeem itself of such feelings and emotions.

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