The Daring Damsel

[“Young ladies are the only people nowadays who have the courage of their opinions, and all the daring books are written by feminine pens.”

Lady Violet Greville]

NOWADAYS, where can you find

Men who dare to speak their mind?

Only ladies who are young

Have a quick courageous tongue.

Who amongst the modern men,

Wields a ready, fearless pen?

Only maids of seventeen

Dare to scribble what they mean.

Literary maidens write

Daringly, with all their might,

And, presumably, intend

That our hair shall stand on end.

I have often thought of them,

Sitting down at nine A.M.,

And endeavouring to shock

Somebody, till one o'clock.

I can almost hear them laugh,

As they pen a paragraph

Full of wicked little bits

Guaranteed to give us fits.

Maidens, I believe you make

An excusable mistake.

You are very young and so

Cannot be supposed to know,

But the things that seem to you

Daring are not very new,

For the newest I believe,

Is about as old as EVE.

If you ever make our eyes

Bulge a little with surprise,

It is when you illustrate

Maiden English up-to-date.

You unquestionably can

Startle the grammarian

In a way that puts to shame

Any man that I could name.

You accept no aged rules

From academies and schools.

Fearlessly you stand alone,

With a grammar of your own.

First published in Punch, December 6, 1906.