Part of speech: Noun and Verb
Definition: A feeling of being without hope or of not being able to improve a situation (Noun) ; To lose hope or be without hope (verb)
Found In “My boy Willie” in line 26: “.. / And she sobbed and sighed in despair, / and with every sob she let fall a tear, / and every sigh was for her Willie dear.. / ”
The definition of the word despair allowed me to understand what was being said in lines 26 – 28. It allowed me to understand that she wanted to hear good news about her “boy willie”. She wanted to believe he was alive but when the sailor said: ” Oh, then your boy Willie, I am sorry to say, / Has just been drowned the other day,” (Lines 21-22) it allowed me to see that all the hope she had was gone. So in my opinion the word despair was used as both a noun and a verb in this case.