The Trial of Socrates: A Poetic Interpretation of Plato’s Apology of Socrates (Part 4 of 12). Copyright © 2020 by Alan Steinle. All rights reserved.
[22 of 83]
If I’m condemned, it won’t be by
Specific people with their claims,
For hate and envy underlie
The defamation of my name.
Though I’m condemned, this will not end—
With many more you will contend.
[23 of 83]
When death has come to walk near you,
Don’t fear or question what will come;
Seek justice till your days are through;
Be brave although you may succumb.
Face danger and remain in place;
Avoid dishonor and disgrace.
[24 of 83]
Philosophy is my own work,
And I inspect myself each day;
I serve the god and never shirk;
I’d be remiss to disobey.
If I did not fulfill my role,
Then you could justly sift my soul.
[25 of 83]
O men of Athens, is not fear
The mask of wisdom that men wear?
And men feel wise to engineer
All sorts of ways to quell despair.
But it’s not wise to fear the end,
For it could be a welcome friend.
[26 of 83]
O men of Athens, why should I
Select an evil that is sure
Instead of choosing here to die,
For death might be a good or cure?
It’s ignorant to think you’ve got
The greatest wits when you have not.
[27 of 83]
O men of Athens, I shall choose
To follow god instead of you,
For I am bound, though men refuse,
To test all things and seek the true.
I cannot change my task or fate—
I’ll warn, assess, and agitate.
[28 of 83]
And are you not ashamed to seek
For riches, fame, and glory first?
Without real wisdom, fame is weak;
Without the truth, all glory’s cursed.
Just seek perfection of the soul;
This must be your pursuit and goal.