Arthur Hugh Clough trans. Colin Sydenham
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 needst not strive
Officiously to keep alive:
Do not adultery commit;
Advantage rarely comes of it:
Thou shalt not steal; an empty feat,
When itís 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.
Unum fas divum modo concelebrare; duorum
..... Omnino pretium est exitiale nimis.
Effigies sculptae prohibentur; at ipsa monetam
..... Caesare signatam lex coluisse sinit.
Adiurare deos, cuiquam maledicere, noli;
..... Devoveas hostem, num minus ille viget?
Rite die pateat reverentia publica sancto;
..... Ritibus his functo dives amicus erit.
Fac tueare patrem matremque, videlicet omnes
..... Per quos sorte potes tu meliore frui.
Mortem inferre nefas, sed non arcere necesse est;
..... Ille supervacuus fertur ubique labor.
Absit adulterium; vetitis ab amoribus illis
..... Exigua et fieri commoda rara solent.
Abstineas furto, facinus quod inane videtur;
..... Praemia fert quanto divitiora dolus.
Periurare cave; mendax velocius ultro,
..... Tempore concesso, vox properare potest.
Rem gestire nefas alienam; at mutua passim
..... Bella fori mores qualiacunque probant.

Trans. copyright © Colin Sydenham 2006

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