Bob Dylan And Thomas Hardy (Part XIX)

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By Larry Fyffe

In the poetic lines beneath, all along the shore by the Jungian waves, two sea horse riders are approaching – the winds begin to howl:

No mortal eye could see
The intimate welding of their later history
Or sign that they were bent
By paths coincident
(Thomas Hardy: Lines Composed On The Loss Of The Titanic)

The song lyrics below seem a tribute paid to the blue Titanic writer from the Late Victorian era:

The highway is for gamblers, better use your sense
Take what you have gathered from coincidence
(Bob Dylan: It's All Over Now, Baby Blue)


A verse of regret from the poet:

I look into my glass
And view my wasting skin
And say, 'Would God it came to pass
My heart had shrunk as thin!"
(Thomas Hardy: I Look Into My Glass)

From the singer/songwriter/musician:

Oh, I awoke in anger
So alone and terrified
I put my fingers against the glass
And bowed my head, and cried
(Bob Dylan: I Dreamed I Saw St. Augustine)


Below, the poet ponders the mystery of time, and of life and death:

Yet is it that, through whiling
Through time somehow
In walking, talking, smiling
I live not now
(Thomas Hardy: The Dead Man Walking)

The flight of time figures into the following song lyrics:

Ain't talking, just walking
Through this weary world of woe
Heart burning, still yearning
No one on earth would ever know
(Bob Dylan: Ain't Talking)


In the poem beneath, fleeting love shoots by:

You love not me

And love alone can lend you loyalty
I know and knew it. But, unto the store
Of human deeds divine in all but name
Was it not worth a little hour or more
(Thomas Hardy: A Broken Appointment)

And this in a Universe that gives not a damn as to what is going to happen:

I don't sense affection
No gratitude or love
Your loyalty is not to me
But to the stars above
One more cup of coffee before I go
(Bob Dylan: One More Cup Of Coffee)


Darkling visions these two riders see –  momentary shadows on the stones are we – and what’s worse, deserving of little pity:

And the thin note of pity that came: "A king's daughter is she" ...
Enghosted seers, kings - one on horseback who asked "Is it peace?" 
Yea, strange things and spectral may men have beheld in Jezreal
(Thomas Hardy: Jezreel)

And now a little grave humour to help matters along:

The ghost of Belle Starr, she hands down her wits 
To Jezebel the nun who violently knits
A bald wig for Jack the Ripper who sits
At the head of the Chamber of Commerce
(Bob Dylan: Tombstone Blues

And some music too as the Titanic goes down:

Sing ballad-singer from your little book
Make me forget these heartbreaks, achings, and fears
Make me forget her name, her sweet sweet look
Make me forget her tears
(Thomas Hardy: The Ballad-Singer)

In case you missed it: Bob Dylan and the Faithful Symmetry

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