The Latest Decalogue

Thou shalt have one God only; 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:
Honor thy parents; that is, all
From whom advancement may befall.
Thou shalt not kill; but needst not strive
Officiously to keep alive:
Do not adultery commit,
Advantage rarely comes of it;
Thou shalt not steal; an empty feat,
When it’s 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

This is a poet I knew as the person who wrote “Say Not the Struggle Nought Availeth”. Not someone I would associate with this sort of light tone or dark humour.
You can read more about Arthur Hugh Clough here.

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