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Tao Te Ching Chapter 45 | Lao-Tzu | Comparative Translations

The Way of Virtue





Who thinks his great achievements poor

Shall find his vigour long endure.

Of greatest fulness, deemed a void,

Exhaustion ne'er shall stem the tide.

Do thou what's straight still crooked deem;

Thy greatest art still stupid seem,

And eloquence a stammering scream.


Constant action overcomes cold; being still overcomes heat. Purity and stillness give the correct law to all under heaven.

True perfection seems imperfect,

yet it is perfectly itself.

True fullness seems empty,

yet it is fully present.


True straightness seems crooked.

True wisdom seems foolish.

True art seems artless.


The Master allows things to happen.

She shapes events as they come.

She steps out of the way

and lets the Tao speak for itself.




Translated by J. Legge





Translated by Stephen Mitchell
















 

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