The Trial of Socrates (Stanzas 29 to 35)

The Trial of Socrates: A Poetic Interpretation of Plato’s Apology of Socrates (Part 5 of 12). Copyright © 2020 by Alan Steinle. All rights reserved.

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Go to the Beginning
Go to Part 6: Stanzas 36 to 42

[29 of 83]
You must regard your soul with care
And not prefer your flesh or wealth;
If you choose truth, it won’t ensnare;
It will direct to peace and health.
Yes, virtue is the source of joy;
It brings a wealth that doesn’t cloy.

[30 of 83]
If you assert you care for these—
The truth and wisdom that I praise—
I’ll sift and prove you, as I please,
To search out all your hidden ways.
But if you choose what’s truly base,
I will reproach you to your face.

[31 of 83]
O men of Athens, murmur not—
The evil men can’t harm the good;
Though I may die, if it’s my lot,
I’ll speak the truth because I should.
If you convict and throw the blame,
You’ll hurt yourselves and taint your name.

[32 of 83]
Your judgment cannot harm me now,
By exile, death, or heavy fine;
I will not fear nor wipe my brow;
To me, your insults are benign.
Meletus and Anytus fail
To harm me though they both assail.

[33 of 83]
I’ll make a firm defense for you
Lest you should hurt yourselves with hate;
Your slander here is nothing new;
Your lack of justice weaves your fate.
The god chose me to wake you up,
But envy stirs a bitter cup.

[34 of 83]
Replacing me would be a task
That would be hard for you to do;
The god might send one if you ask,
But you still fear what would ensue.
To you I am the god’s own gift;
If you condemn me, who will sift?

[35 of 83]
From early life, I heard a voice;
A godly spirit spoke to me;
Opposing every harmful choice,
It guards me from what I can’t see.
This spirit never goads or leads,
But it prevents unwanted deeds.

Go to the Beginning
Go to Part 6: Stanzas 36 to 42

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