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Tao Te Ching Chapter 12 | Lao-Tzu | Comparative Translations

The Way of Virtue





Colour's five hues from th' eyes their sight will take;

Music's five notes the ears as deaf can make;

The flavours five deprive the mouth of taste;

The chariot course, and the wild hunting waste

Make mad the mind; and objects rare and strange,

Sought for, men's conduct will to evil change.


Therefore the sage seeks to satisfy (the craving of) the belly, and not the (insatiable longing of the) eyes. He puts from him the latter, and prefers to seek the former.

Colors blind the eye.

Sounds deafen the ear.

Flavors numb the taste.

Thoughts weaken the mind.

Desires wither the heart.


The Master observes the world

but trusts his inner vision.

He allows things to come and go.

His heart is open as the sky.




Translated by J. Legge





Translated by Stephen Mitchell
















 

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