The curse it is cast
The slow one now
Will later be fast
As the present now
Will later be past
The order is
And the first one now
Will later be last
For the times they are a-changin'.
I see the burning of the stage,
Curtain risin' on a new age,
See the groom still waitin' at the altar.
Ring them bells, ye heathen
From the city that dreams,
Ring them bells from the sanctuaries
Cross the valleys and streams,
For they're deep and they're wide
And the world's on its side
And time is running backwards
And so is the bride.
This apocalyptic language is also present in his later music. One of my favorite Dylan songs is Summer Days which I'm convinced carries echoes from the book of Jeremiah. The song describes an age of opulence that cannot possibly be sustained. Their singing songs to the king as if summer will last forever. But this is a world coming to an end. The end/beginning is also found in songs like the Levee's Gonna Break and Thunder on the Mountain.
There's a ruckus in the alley and the sun will be here soon
Today's the day, gonna grab my trombone and blow
Well, there's hot stuff here and it's everywhere I go
Mean old twister bearing down on me
All the ladies of Washington scrambling to get out of town
Looks like something bad gonna happen, better roll your airplane down
I'll plant and I'll harvest what the earth brings forth
The hammer's on the table, the pitchfork's on the shelf
For the love of God, you ought to take pity on yourself