Lapsus Calami (Apr 1891)/A Thought

First published (without title) in The Granta, 7 February 1891, and subsequently included in Lapsus Calami.

A Thought

If all the harm that women have done
Were put in a bundle and rolled into one,
Earth would not hold it,
The sky could not enfold it,
It could not be lighted nor warmed by the sun;
Such masses of evil
Would puzzle the devil
And keep him in fuel while Time's wheels run.

But if all the harm that's been done by men
Were doubled and doubled and doubled again.
And melted and fused into vapour and then
Were squared and raised to the power of ten.
There wouldn't be nearly enough, not near,
To keep a small girl for a tenth of a year.