Naming the Serpents

Lilith by John Collier

Naming the Serpents

Adam named the adder
And the grass snake and the asp,
The whip, the smooth, the ladder,
And the rattle and the rasp.

He named them, ev’ry one entire,
That slinked across the land,
From the cobra in the briar,
To the boa in the sand.

But one had never caught his eyes:
The one within the apple tree –
The one that we immortalise
In canvas, glass and tapestry !

’Twas Eve who named the python
Once she’d tasted his delight,
She bet her very life on
How he’d hug but wouldn’t bite.

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