“Moonlight” (2001)

The rhyme scheme in this song is like moonlight, steady and constant, and then suddenly not so, shadowy, ripple-like.  Verses 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 8 of 8 use a/b/b, with all almost perfect rhymes rhyming with the word “alone.”  a/a/b/c/c/d patterns the fourth and seventh verses, with a bit more assonance added as  kicker to the final rhyming of verse 7: “sea”/”chief”/”thief”/”me.”

Six of the eight verses have terrific internal rhymes creating perhaps what Christopher Ricks recognizes as the song’s “melodious buoyancy.” “losing” with “Susan” and the best one, “crimson” with “limbs an” display an active rhyming mind, one in command of words and sounds.

All this is part poetry, part the way Dylan sings, it, breezy, light with just an edge of pleading, “Won’t you meet me out in the moonlight alone?” over and over again, to end this alone-ness once and for all, the incessant rhyming with “alone” echoing under the moonlight.

The seasons they are turnin’ and my sad heart is yearnin’
To hear again the songbird’s sweet melodious tone
Won’t you meet me out in the moonlight alone?

The dusky light, the day is losing, Orchids, Poppies, Black-eyed Susan
The earth and sky that melts with flesh and bone
Won’t you meet me out in the moonlight alone?

The air is thick and heavy all along the levy
Where the geese into the countryside have flown
Won’t you meet me out in the moonlight alone?

Well, I’m preachin’ peace and harmony
The blessings of tranquility
Yet I know when the time is right to strike
I’ll take you cross the river dear
You’ve no need to linger here
I know the kinds of things you like

The clouds are turnin’ crimson–the leaves fall from the limbs an’
The branches cast their shadows over stone
Won’t you meet me out in the moonlight alone?

The boulevards of cypress trees, the masquerades of birds and bees
The petals, pink and white, the wind has blown
Won’t you meet me out in the moonlight alone?

The trailing moss and mystic glow
Purple blossoms soft as snow
My tears keep flowing to the sea
Doctor, lawyer, Indian chief
It takes a thief to catch a thief
For whom does the bell toll for, love? It tolls for you and me

My pulse is runnin’ through my palm–the sharp hills are rising from
The yellow fields with twisted oaks that groan
Won’t you meet me out in the moonlight alone?

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