The Latest Decalogue

Thou shalt have one God only; who
Would be at the expense of two?
No graven images may be
Worshipp'd, 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.

by Arthur Hugh Clough

Comments (7)

Interesting look at the ten commandments.
Some of the best satire I have ever read, beautifully written.
One of the funniest poems I've read lately, and totally agree with the comments of Thomas Vaughn Jones and John Richter below.
Very humorous. The last two lines are the real punch-line.
Wonderful. I like I like.
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