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A Mary T. Hoffman Commentary from


"Joyful Curmudgeon" An oxymoron?
No! I see all the beauty of God's creation and I'm joyful.  At the same time, I see all the suffering and corruption going on in the world, and feel called to help expose and end it so that we may have true peace and compassion.


Happy Father’s Day – 15 June 2008
By Mary T. Hoffman

Please read my previous Father’s Day Blogs at: 

For today I’ve chosen a poem that could have been written by a joyful curmudgeon; it’s humorous and cynical at the same time – probably because there’s some truth in it!

Arthur Hugh Clough (pronounced Kluff) was an English poet, born January 1, 1819, who lived in the United States from 1822 until 1828, when he and his brother Charles returned to England to attend school. On November 13, 1861 he died in Florence, Italy, after contracting malaria, and is buried in the Protestant cemetery there.

Judging by this poem, Arthur Hugh Clough appears to have been a disillusioned young man who questioned the popular religious and social ideals of the Victorian era. Today’s world doesn’t seem any better.

The Latest Decalogue
By: Arthur Hugh Clough
(1 January 1819 – 13 November 1861)

Though 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 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 needs’t 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.

For a collection of poems and stories, visit: 

Go on to: Spicy Pasta with Peanut Sauce – 16 June 2008
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