" When from thine error. . ."
(full text for the poem inserted by Dostoevsky at the beginning or Notes from Underground, Part II in a translation by Archibald Carey Coolidge with minor alterations)
When from thine error, dark, degrading,
With words of fiery persuading,
I drew thy fallen spirit out;
And thou, thy hands in anguish wringing,
Didst curse, filled with a torment stinging,
The sin that compassed thee about;
When thou, thy conscience dilatory
Chastising with the memory's shame,
Didst there unfold to me the story
Of that which was before I came;
And sudden with thy two hands shielding
In loathing and dismay thy face,
To floods of tears I saw thee yielding,
O'erwhelmed, yea prostrate with disgrace--
[About here Dostoevsky's narrator cuts off this poem with:" . . . / etc., etc., etc./ From the poetry of N. A. Nekrasov]"
Trust me! thy tale did not importune;
I caught each word and tired not.
I understand, child of misfortune!
I pardoned all, and all forgot.
Why is it then, a secret doubting
Still preys upon thee every hour?
The world's opinion, thoughtless flouting,
Holds even thee too in its power?
Heed not the world, its lies dissembling,
Henceforth from all thy doubts be free;
Nor let thy soul, unduly trembling,
Still harbor thoughts that torture thee.
By grieving fruitlessly and vainly
Warm not the serpents in thy breast,
Into my house come bold and free,
Its rightful mistress there to be.