Ambrose Bierce

(24 June 1842 - 26 December 1913 / Horse Cave Creek, Ohio)

Decalogue Poem by Ambrose Bierce


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.

Submitted: Wednesday, May 09, 2001
Edited: Wednesday, February 29, 2012

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Comments about this poem (Decalogue by Ambrose Bierce )

  • Rookie Dimitris(Jimmy) Psachos (6/17/2007 6:45:00 AM)

    I can't give enough credits to a mastermind of hilarious irony! Thank you gringo-Ambrose, I'll learn this Decalogue by heart! ! ! (Report) Reply

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