The Trial of Socrates (Stanzas 36 to 42)

The Trial of Socrates: A Poetic Interpretation of Plato’s Apology of Socrates (Part 6 of 12). Copyright © 2020 by Alan Steinle. All rights reserved.

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Go to the Beginning
Go to Part 7: Stanzas 43 to 50

[36 of 83]
This voice kept me from public life,
For politics is not my field;
Opposing you would have made strife,
But private life was like a shield.
I simply would have bit the dust
If I had fought for what is just.

[37 of 83]
My goal in life is to reject
All actions that are less than good;
The just and holy I elect—
For these two things I’ve always stood.
I do not fear the government,
Though I must often voice dissent.

[38 of 83]
I don’t take money for my speech;
I don’t refuse the rich or poor;
I am not greedy like a leech;
To all I open wide my door.
If any say they have received
Some secret lore, don’t be deceived.

[39 of 83]
You know why some obtain delight
To linger with me every day?
They love to hear the frauds put right
And see their faces in dismay.
I’ve been enjoined by deities
To keep on sifting such as these.

[40 of 83]
O men of Athens, do not doubt
That seers, priests, and dreams tell me
To question fully those with clout;
This urgent task I will not flee.
The words I speak are wholly true
And hold up under close review.

[41 of 83]
If I corrupt the youth this way,
Then those who were deceived by me
Should now arise, accuse, and say
They were misled, as they now see.
If I have wronged them, they would scold
And punish me for what I’ve told.

[42 of 83]
But many youths are present here,
As Plato, Crito, and the rest;
Meletus could have them appear
And put a “knife” into my chest.
And if I have no righteous case,
Then they can put me in my place.

Go to the Beginning
Go to Part 7: Stanzas 43 to 50

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