A heroine must shrink and cling
When heroes are about,
And thus the watching world will think:
“How brave his heart and stout!”
But if he chance to be away
When bright-faced dangers shine,
It will be best for her to play
The oak-tree, not the vine.
In fact the most important thing
Is knowing when it’s time to cling.
With apologies to R.L.S.
A heroine must be polite
And do what others say is right,
And think men wise and formidable–
At least as far as she is able.
Adapted from ARE WOMEN PEOPLE? A BOOK OF RHYMES FOR SUFFRAGE TIMES
by ALICE DUER MILLER
Teresa Thomas Bohannon
– W. Somerset Maugham (1874 - 1965) Of Human Bondage, 1915