Good Little Girls

A poem by William Schwenck Gilbert

Although of native maids the cream,
We're brought up on the English scheme -
The best of all
For great and small
Who modesty adore.
For English girls are good as gold,
Extremely modest (so we're told),
Demurely coy - divinely cold -
And we are that - and more.
To please papa, who argues thus -
All girls should mould themselves on us,
Because we are,
By furlongs far,
The best of all the bunch;
We show ourselves to loud applause
From ten to four without a pause -
Which is an awkward time because
It cuts into our lunch.

Oh, maids of high and low degree,
Whose social code is rather free,
Please look at us and you will see
What good young ladies ought to be!

And as we stand, like clockwork toys,
A lecturer papa employs
To puff and praise
Our modest ways
And guileless character -
Our well-known blush - our downcast eyes -
Our famous look of mild surprise
(Which competition still defies) -
Our celebrated "Sir!!!"
Then all the crowd take down our looks
In pocket memorandum books.
To diagnose,
Our modest pose
The kodaks do their best:
If evidence you would possess
Of what is maiden bashfulness,
You only need a button press -
And WE do all the rest.

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