The poem ‘Snake‘ is written by D.H.Lawrence which highlights the ever-changing and dual nature of the human beings who change themselves as per the situations and times.
In the beginning of this poem, the poet shares his personal experience wherein he comes across a snake drinking water and satiating his thirst at his water trough. He, being the second comer, starts waiting a couple of yards away with a pitcher in his end. According to the poet, the snake has come out of the burning bowels of the earth in this hottest month of July of Sicily.
Besides, he talks about the slackness of the snake’s body and its forked tongue through which he is drinking water. The poet compares this snake with cattle as well because of their alertness and observance while drinking water.
At the same time, he finds that the snake is golden in colour. He, very well, knows that golden snakes are venomous as compare to black snakes. His voice of education wants him to kill the snake without being afraid whereas the voice of his conscience wants him to treat the snake as a God. Therefore, for a longer period of time, he remains confused which voice to follow which not to.
Finally, the poet finds the snake moving towards the broken wall and entering the hole after drinking enough water. Gathering his strength and following the voice of his education, he picks up a log and attacks the snake.
Although it does not hit the snake yet it makes the snake rush quickly to the hole in the darkness. The poet, finds himself in the same position where the ancient mariner was after killing the albatross in The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.
In the end, he regrets his decision of hitting the snake and curses himself for this trifle.
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