The Latest Decalogue After Arthur Hugh Clough

Poem By Jonathan ROBIN

The Latest Decalogue

Worship one true God only, who would run to the expense of two?
Your ruin truly will ensue unless you heresy eschew.

Insisting with sincerity in this wise world, where nothing’s free,
no carven icons cruel should we create, except our currency.

We venture here, in vapid verse, the Third Commandment to rehearse, -
swear not at all, for, for your curse, your enemy seems none the worse.

He who the Fourth Commandment penned, my sins and errors must amend,
but, Sir, on Sunday Church attend – ‘twill serve to keep the world thy friend.

Honour thy parents: that is all from whom advancement may befall.
Be prompt to run at beck and call of all who have the wherewithal.

Commandment Six now follows Five, thou shalt not kill, but none need strive
officiously to keep alive, - and thus fulfill ambition’s drive.

Of all the seven sins that sit upon thy soul when Judgement’s writ,
the last, that’s lust, do not commit – for profit seldom comes of it.

Dame Fortune’s smile you would entreat by guile to guild your golden seat?
Then do not steal – an empty feat when its so lucrative to cheat.

Bear not false witness; let the lie have time on its own wings to fly.
Allow your friend himself to tie the noose which round his neck will lie.

Covet your neighbour’s? ‘Tis sedition. In 10th Commandment’s new rendition
anticipating competition, - sedate his horse with expedition!

25 December 1977 robi3_0147_clou1_0003 PXX_EJX
Parody Arthur Hugh Clough 1819_1861 The Latest Decalogue


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:
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 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 1819_1861


Thou shalt no God but me adore:
'Twere too expensive to have more.
No images nor idols make
For Roger Ingersoll to break.
Take not God's name in vain: select
A time when it will have effect.
Work not on Sabbath days at all,
But go to see the teams play ball.
Honor thy parents. That creates
For life insurance lower rates.
Kill not, abet not those who kill;
Thou shalt not pay thy butcher's bill.
Kiss not thy neighbor's wife, unless
Thine own thy neighbor doth caress.
Don't steal; thou'lt never thus compete
Successfully in business. Cheat.
Bear not false witness-that is low-
But 'hear 'tis rumored so and so.'
Covet thou naught that thou hast got
By hook or crook, or somehow, got.

Ambrose BIERCE 1842_1914 bier1_0002_clou1_0003 PXX_EXX
Parody Arthur Hugh Clough 1819_1861 The Latest Decalogue

The New Decalogue

Have but one God: thy knees were sore
If bent in prayer to three or four.
Adore no images save those
The coinage of thy country shows.
Take not the Name in vain. Direct
Thy swearing unto some effect.
Thy hand from Sunday work be held-
Work not at all unless compelled.
Honor thy parents, and perchance
Their wills thy fortunes may advance.
Kill not-death liberates thy foe
From persecution's constant woe.
Kiss not thy neighbor's wife. Of course
There's no objection to divorce.
To steal were folly, for 'tis plain
In cheating there is greater pain.
Bear not false witness.
Shake your head
And say that you have 'heard it said.'
Who stays to covet ne'er will catch
An opportunity to snatch.

Ambrose BIERCE 1842_1914 bier1_0003_clou1_0003 PXX_EXX
Parody Arthur Hugh Clough 1819_1861 The Latest Decalogue

Latest Decalogue

'The sum of all is, thou shalt love,
If any body, God above:
At any rate shall never labour
More than thyself to love thy neighbour.'

ESTABROOK C G esta1_0001_clou1_0003 PWX_JLX
Parody Arthur Hugh Clough 1819_1861 The Latest Decalogue

Addendum to the Ten Commandments

Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife,
Nor the ox her husband bought her;
But thank the Lord you're not forbidden
To covet your neighbour's daughter.

Parody UN known Author 0021 PUNau PUNau_0021_clou1_0003 PXX_LXX
Parody Arthur Hugh Clough 1819_1861 The Latest Decalogue


Thou shalt not lie but don't believe
Thou art required to undeceive.

Parody Arthur Hugh Clough 1819_1861 The Latest Decalogue

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