These two metaphors in the poem are both connected with the regal stature the narrator finally believes the snake to have. Initially he refers to the snakes as
‘Someone was before me’
Of course most people would categorize an animal as something. However, towards the end of the poem, the snake is referred to as –
One of the lords
Again being recognized as having great stature.
There are many similes in the poem which also reflect the majesty which the narrator confers on the snake –
Like a God…
Like a king.
The irony of the poem is in the narrator trying to assert his humanity and masculinity in attacking the snake, but remaining cowed and humbled by the experience. The garden symbolism relates to the Garden of Eden.
In the last 5 stanzas the narrator reveals how he is overcome by his human instinct and throws a log at the snake. He instantly regrets his action, driven by humanity yet repulsed by it
I despised myself and the voices of my accursed human education.