The Vampire "A Rag And A Bone And A Hank Of Hair"
by Rudyard Kipling

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"A Rag And A Bone And A Hank Of Hair"

(Magill's Quotations in Context)

Context: This bitter poem, associated with a painting by Philip Burne-Jones, is Kipling's picture of a man who wastes his life on a worthless woman, one who "did not understand." His substance, his honor, and his faith are thrown away, until "the fool was stripped to his foolish hide"–then the woman casually discards him. Throughout the poem runs the mocking refrain "Even as you and I"–most men are like the fool of the story. It is easy to understand why the poem called forth some rather violent replies from feminine writers.

A fool there was and he made his prayer
(Even as you and I!)
To a rag and a bone and a hank of hair
(We called her the woman who did not care)
But the fool he called her his lady fair–
(Even as you and I!)