(Poem #159) 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 covert; but tradition Approves all forms of competition.
Note: One of the two extant manuscripts has four additional lines, not printed in any early edition of Clough, summarizing his decalogue in an ironic restatement of the two great commandments of the law (Matthew 22: 37-39): 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." Time has not rendered this poem archaic, quaint or outdated - on the contrary, it seems just as trenchantly relevant today as it doubtless did back in 1862. Compare Decalogue to the previous poem, 'There is no God..' (Poem #69) - Decalogue lacks the subtle irony, opting instead for a more forthright style, reminiscent of Bierce. This contributes greatly to its timelessness; Clough's verse is, indeed, more 20th Century than Victorian in flavour.  well, the phrase 'the currency' in line 4 seems a trifle old-fashioned, but only if you want to nitpick Biography etc: See poem #69 m.