The Seven Virtues
Six centuries ago a pope devised
A list of sins he thought should be taboo,
But now we see the list must be revised
For calling virtues sins will never do.
Now Pride’s admired, humility deplored;
And modesty’s a word arousing snickers;
School football makes us proud, what’s taught ignored,
And “Pride in Power” appears on bumper stickers.
Next, Envy also serves a worthy aim:
Your new lawnmower makes me buy one that’s finer,
Although I have no lawn. And this, I claim,
Makes our divine economy diviner.
And Gluttony no longer seems profane;
For who would criticize a swollen belly
When advertisers go to all these pains
To push a burger or a New York deli?
It’s Lust, of course, that helps us subsidize
The ever-growing porno industry,
The newest model of free enterprise
To warm the hearts and parts of bourgeoise.
Psychologists find Anger a release:
When someone crooked tries to victimize you,
No need to rage! Find someone you can fleece
And see how nicely that will tranquilize you.
Our Sloth occurs when we in underpants
Stay on the couch by day and hardly stir,
TV and beer restoring thus our chance
To be a sports or movie connoisseur.
And Greed? Why, that’s the lifeblood of our nation.
The virtuous are those who have much stuff;
The only ones who cause us consternation
Are evil types who think they have enough.
Below are new sins I have now devised:
Frugality is bad, makes stores go broke;
Humility has always been despised;
And Chastity, of course, we should evoke
For womankind; for men, though, it’s a sin.
In business we must fight Integrity,
Which always ruins corporate discipline,
As does an act of Non-conformity.
But any Thinking’s found to be a vice,
And Writing Verse is worst of all the seven;
But each of them, I’m certain, will suffice
To bar one from that Country Club in Heaven.