The Trial of Socrates (Stanzas 15 to 21)

The Trial of Socrates: A Poetic Interpretation of Plato’s Apology of Socrates (Part 3 of 12). Copyright © 2020 by Alan Steinle. All rights reserved.

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Go to the Beginning
Go to Part 4: Stanzas 22 to 28

[15 of 83]
When I put people to the test,
The idle youths all did the same;
Then people saw me as a pest
And placed on me the guilt and blame.
Their slander fell on eager ears,
As it has done for many years.

[16 of 83]
You claim that I corrupt the youth
And don’t revere the gods, like you;
These accusations mock the truth;
Your words of slander misconstrue.
O men of Athens, rein your ire,
For I can sense a growing fire.

[17 of 83]
Meletus says that I alone
Corrupt the youth, but no indeed!
I’ll let it be my cornerstone
That only few can really lead.
As few can tame a wild beast,
The rest will be inept, at least.

[18 of 83]
And it would be the greatest gift
If only I corrupted men;
If all the others can uplift
Our youths, then let the schools begin!
But my accusers do not care
About our youths or if they err.

[19 of 83]
You say I don’t believe in gods,
But do believe in daemons and
Some others, such as demigods;
This is the claim, I understand.
But I will prove I do believe
And my accusers are deceived.

[20 of 83]
As for my proof, would you persist
In claiming that some things relate
To horses, but no steeds exist,
Although related things have weight?
If foals and reins can’t be dismissed,
We know that horses must exist.

[21 of 83]
If daemons are the gods’ own seed,
Then who would claim that daemons are
Unless he firstly does concede
That gods exist, and pass that bar?
But I believe that daemons live
And that the gods are causative.

Go to the Beginning
Go to Part 4: Stanzas 22 to 28

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