The Trial of Socrates (Stanzas 57 to 62)

The Trial of Socrates: A Poetic Interpretation of Plato’s Apology of Socrates (Part 9 of 12). Copyright © 2020 by Alan Steinle. All rights reserved.

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Go to the Beginning
Go to Part 10: Stanzas 63 to 69

[57 of 83]
Perhaps you think I’m acting proud
In this, a case of life and death;
But I’m not able or allowed
To stretch my time or catch my breath.
I think I could persuade those here
If I had more time to appear.

[58 of 83]
I don’t believe that I have hurt
On purpose anyone I’ve met;
So I won’t act now to subvert
My own good morals with your threat.
I don’t believe that I should earn
A punishment from this concern.

[59 of 83]
But should I choose to do some time
Within a prison or a jail?
Or should I owe a hefty fine
And wait till friends can pay my bail?
A fine would be the same as jail—
I’d be confined to no avail.

[60 of 83]
Or should I go away from here?
Perhaps an exile would please you?
But if my words don’t make me dear
To Athens, what would others do?
A fine life it would be to go
Throughout the land and mischief sow!

[61 of 83]
And some will say, “Why can’t you live
A quiet life without debates?”
Myself I never would forgive
If I opposed what god dictates.
The unexamined life is not
Worth living, nor is it my lot.

[62 of 83]
If I were rich, I’d pay a fee—
I’d pay a large, substantial sum;
I’d not be harmed, but be set free,
But as it is, I may succumb.
A fine of thirty minas for
My punishment—I can’t pay more.

Go to the Beginning
Go to Part 10: Stanzas 63 to 69

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