William Black belongs to the romantic age. ‘A Poison Tree’ is a poem which expresses the poet’s passion about his friend and foe. This poem is built up several contrasts as friends and foe; love and hatred; trust and deceit. Poison tree is first symbol of hatred in the poem. It finds its identity in the mythological (famous) apple tree that lured our grand parents Adam and Eve. Though this fascinating tree in the gardens of Eden is called the tree of knowledge, yet it brought all misery and death to their offspring (children) by throwing them down on the earth from the high emporium of joy, peace and love.
In fact, the process of nourishment is one that hatred is the outcome of lake of trust. Friends can forget but enemies nourish their grudges, and destroy others. The watering of fears with tears shows keenness and intense labor. Threats of presence of an enemy find their expression in the process while soft deceitful wiles and hypocritical smiles bathe the tree is sunlight.
The night is certainly, the bewitching time of evil and image of all trouble. Blake shows the night wrapping everything except the evil that shines to deceive the enemy. The poet has used darkness for the act of stealth. The poet forces the reader to think and make his won conclusion.
The tone of the poet is sad and fearful. The mood is also same. The poem is subjective and written in four stanzas of four lines each. It is called quatrain. The central idea of the poem is impressive and appealing.