"A Woman Is Only A Woman, But A Good Cigar Is A Smoke"

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Last Updated on May 10, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 119

Context: Kipling uses his bent for humor in "The Betrothed" when Maggie begins the poem with an ultimatum saying, "You must choose between me and your cigar." The poet muses on the permanence of a cigar that, when finished, can be replaced by another equally as good as the first. Then he points to the fact that a wife could hardly be thrown away for ". . . the talk of the town." Finally, he writes:

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A million surplus Maggies are willing to bear the yoke;
And a woman is only a woman, but a good Cigar is a Smoke.
Light me another Cuba; I hold to my first-sworn vows,
If Maggie will have no rival, I'll have no Maggie for spouse!

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