The child_lit listserv discussion of Twilight has morphed into some fond reminiscing about The Highwayman by Alfred Noyes. In reference to Twilight someone had suggested sacrifice is usually considered romantic, but she could only think of examples of men making sacrifices in literature. I suggested Bess the landlord's daughter offing herself in The Highwayman in order to warn her lover that the law was waiting for him was an example of a woman making a sacrifice.
I didn't expect much of a response to that because child_lit is quite an academic group, and while I loved The Highwayman when I was in sixth or seventh grade, I read a few years ago that many critics consider it to be...well...crapola. But it was like a dam broke! Masses of people loved The Highwayman in their tender youths.
One person even linked to a musical version by Phil Ochs. It's not exactly something that leaves you humming. You can hear it again while looking at illustrations.