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 ("Oh! n'insultez jamais une femme qui tombe.") 
 {XIV., Sept. 6, 1835.} 

 I tell you, hush! no word of sneering scorn— 
 True, fallen; but God knows how deep her sorrow. 
 Poor girl! too many like her only born 
 To love one day—to sin—and die the morrow. 
 What know you of her struggles or her grief? 
 Or what wild storms of want and woe and pain 
 Tore down her soul from honor? As a leaf 
 From autumn branches, or a drop of rain 
 That hung in frailest splendor from a bough— 
 Bright, glistening in the sunlight of God's day— 
 So had she clung to virtue once. But now— 
 See Heaven's clear pearl polluted with earth's clay! 
 The sin is yours—with your accursed gold— 
 Man's wealth is master—woman's soul the slave! 
 Some purest water still the mire may hold. 
 Is there no hope for her—no power to save? 
 Yea, once again to draw up from the clay 
 The fallen raindrop, till it shine above, 
 Or save a fallen soul, needs but one ray 
 Of Heaven's sunshine, or of human love. 


Poem by Victor Hugo
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