Home  »  library  »  poem  »  The Latest Decalogue

C.D. Warner, et al., comp.
The Library of the World’s Best Literature. An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.

The Latest Decalogue

By Arthur Hugh Clough (1819–1861)

THOU shalt have one God only: who

Would be at the expense of two?

No graven images may be

Worshiped, save in the currency.

Swear not at all; since 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 need’st not strive

Officiously to keep alive.

Adultery it is not fit

Or safe (for woman) to commit.

Thou shalt not steal: an empty feat,

When ’tis as 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.