Secular Commandments

tablet
Neo-Babylonian tablet about Epilepsy at the British Museum, c. 9375 – 9462 HE

 

Secular Commandments

And Thou Shalt Not Murder, nor needlessly kill –
Thy life is too fleeting to shorten yet still.

And Thou Shalt Not Steal, nor undue extort –
Not objects, nor glories, nor notions bethought.

And Thou Shalt Not Greeding, nor proud eversuch –
As glutton-, or miser-, or tyrant-too-much.

And Thou Shalt Deceive Not, nor mislead by choice –
For whether by action, or absence, or voice.

And Thou Hypocrise Shan’t, nor thyself betray –
Believe not thy pretext, nor look t’other way.

And Thou Shalt Not Hatred, nor baseless decry –
Nor, even the guilty, redemption deny.

And Thou Shalt Respect Due, all those who doth earn –
Then labour thyself for esteem in return.

One Shalt and six Shalt Nots, one life to apply –
So can we achieve them, and can we not try ?

 

 

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