Thou…need’st not strive

The Latest Decalogue

by A. H. Clough:

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; since, for they 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.


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