Why, there are maidens of heroic touch
And yet they seem like things of gossamer
You'd pinch the life out of, as out of moths.
O, it is not fond tones and mouthingness,
'Tis not the arms akimbo and large strides,
That makes a woman's force. The tiniest birds,
With softest downy breasts, have passion in them,
And are brave with love.
—From Felix Holt, the Radical by George Eliot (1819-80)
George Eliot might have a man's name (two, in fact!), but in real life she was Mary Ann Evans, and she wrote such high-school groaners as Middlemarch and Mill on the Floss (I kid! Actually, I loved both of those books, but they are hella long, it must be admitted).
In her personal life, Eliot was super controversial, openly living with a man without being married to him. He was married to someone else, but he and the someone else had agreed to an open marriage, so don't hate on Eliot.
This bit lifted from Eliot's Felix Holt, The Radical is a delicious lauding of strong femininity in all its guises, not admitting to any weakness whatsoever. It's a great way to continue celebrating National Poetry Month, and female power, not to mention a casual reference to softest downy breasts.