"In a cleft that's christened Alt"
- he's in a cave
"And shout to secret to the stone"
- talking to himself in the cave.
"All that I have said and done, - Now that I am old and illl, - Turns into a question till - I lie awake night after night - And never get the answers right."
- very straightforward and blunt about his aging.
- feeling very guilty - brought on by aging - guilt so strong that he can't sleep.
- thinks he has caused pain/ suffering eg. "did that play of mine send out Certain men the English shot?"
"And all seems evil until I - Sleepless would lie down and die.
Lie down and die."
- seriously contemplating killing himself to stop his feelings of guilt.
- echo is him - literally talking to himself - basically just told himself to kill himself.
- echo always repeats most negative thing.
- creepy, sad - spunds like an order.
"That were to shirk - The spiritual intellect's great work,"
- killing himself is just avoiding important work.
- believes it is his duty to write poetry and sort his thoughts about before he dies.
"And shirk it in vain. There is no release - In a bodkin or disease,"
- bodkin = dagger - Hamlet wants to kill himself but is afraid of hell.
- death won't help - no solution to old age.
"Nor can there be work so great - As that which cleans man's dirty slate."
- work is important - has to sort out his life before he dies.
- this work will clean him of his guilt - sounds perfect/ ordered - positive.
"While man can still his body keep - Wine or love drug him to sleep,"
- youth - have the body - aren't tormented by the mind.