By Larry Fyffe
Joseph Rodman Drake be a member of the Knickerbocker group of writers, a number of whom are influenced by George Byron – the British poet serves as a link between Joseph Drake and Bob Dylan.
In the lengthy poem below, a fairy of the night-meadows receives a sentence consisting of travails imposed by the elfin court because he falls in love with a mortal; the fairy makes it all the way to the heavenly-lit palace of the Queen of the Air who takes pity on him; she bids him stay, but he declines because he cannot forget the memory of his earth-bound lover:
'Twas the middle watch of a summer's night The earth is dark, but the heaven's are bright Nought is seen in the vault on high But the moon, and the stars, and the cloudless sky (Joseph Rodman Drake: The Culprit Fay)
There’s rhymed ~ ‘night’/’bright’.
Brings to mind the following poem:
She walks in beauty, like the night Of cloudless climes and starry skies And all that's best of dark and bright Meet in her aspect and her eyes George Byron: She Walks In Beauty)
There’s ~ ‘night’/’bright’ again rhymed.
In the song lyrics beneath, the situation is somewhat similar to that in Drake’s poem except there are no fairies anywhere to be seen – a satire, not a sylph, is in the air:
One more night, the stars are in sight But tonight I am as lonesome as can be Oh, the moon is shining bright Lighting everything in sight But tonight no light will shine on me (Bob Dylan: One More Night)
There’s ~ ‘sight’/’bright’ rhymed.
A gnostic-like, black humoured jokerman prevails in a number of lyrics by the singer/musician:
I've never lived in the land of Oz Or wasted my time with an unworthy cause It's hot down here, and you can't be overdressed (Bob Dylan: Key West)
In the ironic style of satire, Bob ‘Byron’ Dylan (as he once signed himself) wears the masque of a mortal Don Juan flittering about in a dimly-lit meadow full of hellish flowers.
As depicted in the following song lyrics: Charlotte's a harlot, dresses in scarlet Mary dresses in green It's soon after midnight, and I've got a date With a fairy queen (Bob Dylan: Soon After Midnight)
He’s a physical-bodied, and chained-down-to-earth culprit, for sure:
Don't know what I'd without it Without this love we call ours Beyond here lies nothing Nothing but the moon and stars (Bob Dylan: Beyond Here Lies Nothing)
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