# Snake : Chapter 9 (Poetry Section)


Snake – D. H. Lawrence                       

Book you have to read in class 12th English is Rainbow Part II

Presented by : Amar’s Classes for English

About Author – D. H. Lawrence 

Snake is written/ composed by D. H. Lawrence. His full name is David herbert Lawrence. He was born in 11 September, 1885 in Eastwood, United Kingdom and died in 2 March 1930 in Vence, France. He was an English writer and poet. His important works are, Sons and Lovers, The white peocock, The Rainbow, etc.

Lyrics of Snake 

A snake came to my water-trough
On a hot, hot day, and I in pyjamas for the heat,
To drink there.
In the deep, strange-scented shade of the great dark carob tree
I came down the steps with my pitcher
And must wait, must stand and wait, for there he was at the trough
            before me.
He reached down from a fissure in the earth-wall in the gloom
And trailed his yellow-brown slackness soft-bellied down, over
            the edge of the stone trough
And rested his throat upon the stone bottom,
And where the water had dripped from the tap, in a small clearness,
He sipped with his straight mouth,
Softly drank through his straight gums, into his slack long body,
Someone was before me at my water-trough,
And I, like a second-comer, waiting.
He lifted his head from his drinking, as cattle do,
And looked at me vaguely, as drinking cattle do,
And flickered his two-forked tongue from his lips, and mused
             a moment,
And stooped and drank a little more,
Being earth-brown, earth-golden from the burning bowels
            of the earth
On the day of Sicilian July, with Etna smoking.
The voice of my education said to me
He must be killed,
For in Sicily the black, black snakes are innocent, the gold
            are venomous.
And voices in me said, If you were a man
You would take a stick and break him now, and finish him off.
But must I confess how I liked him,
How glad I was he had come like a guest in quiet, to drink
            at my water-trough
And depart peaceful, pacified, and thankless,
Into the burning bowels of this earth?
Was it cowardice, that I dared not kill him?
Was it perversity, that I longed to talk to him?
Was it humility, to feel so honoured?
I felt so honoured.
And yet those voices:
If you were not afraid, you would kill him!
And truly I was afraid, I was most afraid,
But even so, honoured still more
That he should seek my hospitality
From out the dark door of the secret earth.
He drank enough
And lifted his head, dreamily, as one who has drunken,
And flickered his tongue like a forked night on the air, so black,
Seeming to lick his lips,
And looked around like a god, unseeing, into the air,
And slowly turned his head,
And slowly, very slowly, as if thrice adream,
Proceeded to draw his slow length curving round
And climb again the broken bank of my wall-face.
And as he put his head into that dreadful hole,
And as he slowly drew up, snake-easing his shoulders,
            and entered farther,
A sort of horror, a sort of protest against his withdrawing into
            that horrid black hole,
Deliberately going into the blackness, and slowly drawing
            himself after,
Overcame me now his back was turned.
I looked round, I put down my pitcher,
I picked up a clumsy log
And threw it at the water-trough with a clatter.
I think it did not hit him,
But suddenly that part of him that was left behind convulsed
            in an undignified haste,
Writhed like lightning, and was gone
Into the black hole, the earth-lipped fissure in the wall-front,
At which, in the intense still noon, I stared with fascination.
And immediately I regretted it.
I thought how paltry, how vulgar, what a mean act!
I despised myself and the voices of my accursed human education.
And I thought of the albatross,
And I wished he would come back, my snake.
For he seemed to me again like a king,
Like a king in exile, uncrowned in the underworld,
Now due to be crowned again.
And so, I missed my chance with one of the lords
Of life.
And I have something to expiate:
A pettiness.

Word Power of Snake 

1. water-trough : नादी 

2. carob tree : कैरोब ट्री 

3. fissure : दरार 

4. gloom : निराश 

5. trailed : पीछे खींचना 

6. vaguely : अस्पष्ट 

7. flickered : लपलपाना 

8. mused : सोच 

9. Sicilian july… Etna smoking : अधिक गर्मी 

10. venomous : जहरीला 

11. bowels : पेट की नली 

12. cowardice : कायर 

13. perversity : गलत अनैतिक सोच 

14. longed : चाहत 

15. humility : विनम्र 

16. hospitality :मेहमाननवाज़ी 

17. horrid : भयंकर 

18. clumsy : भददा 

19. clumsy log : बेढंगा लकड़ी 

20. clatter : दाँत कटकटाना 

21. convulsed : हिलना 

22. writhed : ऐंठना 

23. fascination : आकर्षण 

24. paltry : बहुत छोटा 

25. vulgar : भददा 

26. despised : घृणा 

27. accursed : श्राप 

28. albatross : समुद्री पक्षी 

29. expiate : पछताना 

30. pettiness: छोटा, महत्वहीन 

Summary of Snake 

   Snake is written by D.H. Lawrence. The incident on which the poem is composed is quite and simple and natural. One hot afternoon, in Sicily, the poet got up to collect the water from the trough which lay in the open ground. When he reached the spot he noticed a large brown snake resting its throat on the trough’s edge. Fascinated over this sight of the snake, the poet stood watching it for a long time. He rather realized that he was second to be there and he had to wait till the snake had quenched its thirst. The poet had learnt that the golden snakes in Sicily were poisonous and so they should be killed. Brushing aside those doubts and personal concerns the poet continued to watch the snake in its natural act quenching its thirst. And  finally the snake withdrew itself and proceeded to move back into the dark hole, its dwelling place. Suddenly under a cowardly impulse the poet hurled a log at it. It missed the snake but it produced a feeling of terror in it, reflected in its haste. Afterwards the poet deeply regretted his mindless act of aggression.

MCQs of Snake 

1) ‚Snake‛ has been written by____

A. D.H. Lawrence

B. T.S. Eliot

C. K.N. Daruwala

D. Rupert Brooke

2) D.H. Lawrence was born in_______

A. 1885
B. 1855

C. 1966

D. 1920

3) D.H. Lawrence died in__________

A. 1932

B. 1931

C. 1930

D. 1935

4) In his writing he emerged as the champion of___

A. Love

B. Instinct

C. Mankind

D. Kindness

5) The poet saw a snake near his_________

A. Washroom

B. Bath-tub

C. Water trough

D. Kitchen

6) The snake came from a ____________tree.

A. Banyan tree

B. Mango tree

C. Peepal tree

D. Carob tree

7) The snake sipped water with his__________mouth.

A. Straight

B. Curved

C. Long

D. Short

8) It was a __day when snake came to drink water.

A. Hot

B. Cold

C. Winter

D. Rainy

9) The colour of snake was__________

A. Black-yellow

B. Golden-brown

C. Black-brown

D. Yellow-Brown

10) The speaker considered himself a __________comer to the

A. First

B. Second

C. Third

D. Fourth

11) The snake looked the poet__________

A. Lovingly

B. Vaguely

C. Hate

D. Amar Sir

12) He__________his tongue while drinking.

A. Take out

B. Flickered

C. Curved

D. Straightned

13) The poet picked up a________log.

A. Heavy

B. Thick

C. Light

D. Clumsy

14) The snake looked like a _______in exile.

A. King

B. Emperor

C. Queen

D. Saint

15) In Sicily ________snakes are poisionous and___are innocent

A. Black-Blue

B. Gold-Yellow

C. Gold – Black

D. Gold -Blue

15) The snake flickered his______tongue from his lips.

A. Two-forked

B. Three-forked

C. One-forked

D. Four-forked

16) The poet threw a clumsy log at water trough with______

A. Clatter

B. Power

C. Lightly

D. Tightly

17) The poet missed his chance to meet with one of

A. Lord’s of life

B. Devil’s of life

C. Queen’s life

D. King’s life

18) The poet was in_________when he came to drink water to his
water trough.

A. Pyjama

B. Jeans

C. Night dress

D. Coat 

19) The poet came down the steps with his__________

A. Pitcher

B. Bowl

C. Can

D. Drum

20) ‚Sicily island‛ is in _______country

A. America

B. India

C. Italy

D. England

21) Water trough is kept under a __________tree.

A. Carob

B. Mango

C. Neem

D. Banana

22) The snake came from the ________of the poet’s house

A. Fissure

B. Hole

C. Bottom

D. Top

23) The speaker confess that he______

A. Hated the snake 

B. Liked the snake 

C. Killed the snake 

D. Feared the snake 

24) In Sicily, black snakes are considered-

A. Innocent 

B. Venomous 

C. Playful 

D. Gloomy 

25) The phrase ‘a king of exile’ in the poem stand for

A. The lion 

B. The Elephant 

C. The snake

D. The Tiger

26) After hitting the snake with a log the speaker of the poem ‘snake’ wants to 

A. Enjoy

B. Celebrate

C. Expiate

D. None of these

27) The speaker in the poem ‘snake’ hits the snake with –

A.  Gun 

B.  Bat 

C.  Log 

D.  Rod

28) The speaker of the poem compares the snake with the sea- albatross of 

A. The Scholar Gipsy

B. The Ancient Mariner

C.  Eve of St. Agnes 

D.  Lycidas

29) ‘The voice of my education said to me He must be killed; these line are taken from 

A. The soldier 

B. Fire- Hymn 

C. Snake 

D. Song of Myself

30) He lifted his head from his drinking, as cattle do’ is written by-

A. T. S. Eliot

B. D. H. Lawrence

C. Rupert Brooke

D. John Keats
Question Answer of Snake 
1) Where did the speaker meet the snake?
The speaker met the snake near water trough of his house. It had come there to drink water. The speaker had also went there for the same purpose.
Why had it come out of its hole near the trough?
2) Why had it come out of its hole near the trough?
It had come out of its hole near the trough to drink water because it was too hot and the snake was thirsty.
3) Why did the speaker decided to wait?
The Speaker decided to wait because the snake had come first near the water trough and he was a second- comer.
4) How did the snake drink water?
The snake went to the water-trough and put his mouth upon the depth of that trough. He sipped the water with its straight mouth.
5) What is the meaning of ‘Sicilian July’ with Etna smoking?
‘Sicilian July’ with Etna smoking mean extreme heat like the one caused when Etna erupted i.e. it was so hot as the volcano Etna in Sicily.
6) What is the belief prevailing in Sicily about a snake?
The belief prevailing in Sicily about a snake was the black snakes are innocent, the gold are venomous. So yellow-brown snake would be killed.
7) Do you think  he had a conflict in mind?
Yes, I think that he had a conflict in mind. He was afraid of it and also though that it was afraid of it and also thought that it was a guest which came to drink water at his house.
8) What thing about the snake did appeal him most?
It came to the poet’s house to drink water as a guest. it came calmly for the purpose and departed peacefully being satisfied, had appealed him most.
9) Why did he not like it going back to the dark hole?
The poet did not like it going back to the dark hole because he was just thinking about the snake that it was just like a guest and as such like a god.
10) What was his reaction after hitting the snake?
The speaker regretted after hitting snake. He felt that he had done wrong. How mean, how much uncivilized was his act. By doing so he had committed a sin, was his reaction.
11) Why did the speaker consider it ‘a king in exile’?
The Speaker considered it ‘a king in exile’ because it was peaceful and had done nothing wrong with him. He was his guest as well. It look was like a king in exite. It did not misuse its power.
12) What does poet mean by the ‘The Voice of education’? 
His voice of education ordered him to kill the snakes . As per his education , Golden snakes are venomous and black snakes are innocent . The snake that poet saw was golden and thus harmful for him. So his inner voice asked him to kill the snake.

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