I'm not sure, Rick, if I can see it that way -- a conscious being despairing of death.
To me Gerontion's state of "sleep" signals neither despair nor hope -- it is utter vacancy. It is, to quote from 'Burnt Norton',
"Internal darkness, deprivation...
Dessication of the world of sense,
Evacuation of the world of fancy,
Inoperancy of the world of spirit"
"abstention from movement; while the world moves
In appetency, on its metalled ways..."
In a way, it is a death-like state. All the same, it is quite plausible to visualize him say to his soul:
"be still, and wait without hope
For hope would be hope for the wrong thing; wait without love
For love would be love of the wrong thing; there is yet faith
But the faith and the love and the hope are all in the waiting.
Wait without thought, for you are not ready for thought..."
--- On Fri, 3/12/10, Rickard A. Parker <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> > However, I don't find the Gulf
> claiming the old man -- he is driven
> > by the Trades to a sleepy corner:
> A thought: The animals die while living but //conscious
> humans may
> die despairing of death.//
> Rick Parker