Insult Not The Fallen
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 honour? As a leaf
From autumn branches, or a drop of rain
That hung in frailest splendour 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 rain-drop, till it shine above,
Or save a fallen soul, needs but one ray
Of heaven's sunshine or of human love.
From Les Chants Du Crépuscule