“The Maiden’s Vow” by Alice Duer Miller

Oh, Delight.
⁓The Voice before the Void

“The Maiden’s Vow”

Alice Duer Miller

(A speaker at the National Education Association advised girls not to study algebra. Many girls, he said, had lost their souls through this study. The idea has been taken up with enthusiasm.)

I will avoid equations,
And shun the naughty surd,
I must beware the perfect square,
Through it young girls have erred:
And when men mention Rule of Three
Pretend I have not heard.

Through Sturm’s delightful theorems
Illicit joys assure,
Though permutations and combinations
My woman’s heart allure,
I’ll never study algebra,
But keep my spirit pure.