The Trial of Socrates: A Poetic Interpretation of Plato’s Apology of Socrates (Part 10 of 12). Copyright © 2020 by Alan Steinle. All rights reserved.
Part 3: After the Sentencing
The judges sentence Socrates to death.
[63 of 83]
O men of Athens, you will see
Chastisement from your enemy;
They will believe that you killed me,
A wise old man, with cruelty.
Your acts and name they will defame;
You will be scolded, to your shame.
[64 of 83]
If you had waited for my death,
You might have saved yourselves some stress;
I’d soon have breathed my final breath,
For I am old, but you transgress.
This is for him who vilifies,
For him who longs for my demise.
[65 of 83]
I have not been convicted through
A lack of arguments, but by
A lack of words with which to woo
Your sentiments before I die.
I did not think it was my place
To move you with a tearful face.
[66 of 83]
Yet I’m not sorry for my fate
Nor for defending my life thus;
I did not then incorporate
Fair words that are quite frivolous.
I did not use all methods to
Escape the sentence planned by you.
[67 of 83]
Though it’s not hard to outrun death,
Depravity runs faster still;
Though one may keep one’s living breath,
It’s harder to restrain the ill.
And though the slower has caught me,
The faster one you cannot flee.
[68 of 83]
And I depart, condemned to die,
But you’re condemned by verity;
And justice soon will amplify
The pain for your barbarity.
My sentence I will not arrest;
I feel that things are for the best.
[69 of 83]
O men of Athens, I predict—
As men near death are wont to do—
The young men here will soon afflict
Your lives as I did hitherto.
And all these youths, whom I restrained,
Will set on you when they’re unchained.