Sunday, July 6, 2008

The Latest Decalogue: Favorite Poems


Thou shalt have only one God; who
Would be at the expense of two?

No graven images may be
Worshipped, except the currency:

Swear not at all: for for thy curse
Thine enemy is none the worse.

At church on Sunday to attend
Will serve to keep the world thy friend:

Honour thy parents; that is, all
From whom advancement may befall:

Thou shalt not kill; but need'st not strive
Officiously to keep alive:

Do not adultery commit;
Advantage rarely comes of it:

Thou shalt not steal; an empty feat
When 'tis so lucrative to cheat:

Bear not false witness; let the lie
Have time on its own wings to fly:

Thou shalt not covet; but tradition
Approves all forms of competition.

--Arthur Hugh Clough, 1819-1861

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