“Pennsylvania” by Carl Sandburg and “The Latest Decalogue” by Arthur Hugh Clough
Commonplace Book – Pages 189-190
Pennsylvania by Carl Sandburg
I have been in Pennsylvania
In the Monongahela and Hocking Valleys.
In the blue Susquehanna
On a Saturday morning
I saw a mounted constabulary go by,
I saw boys playing marbles.
Spring and the hills laughed.
And in places along the Appalachian chain,
I saw steel arms handling coal and iron
And I saw the white – cauliflower faces
Of miner’s wives waiting for the men to come home from the day’s work
I made color studies in crimson and violet
Over the dust and domes of culm at sunset.
The Latest Decalogue by Arthur Hugh Clough
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:
Honor 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 covet; but tradition
Approves all forms of competition.