||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.
||"Greatest perfection imperfect will be,
But its work ne'er waneth.
Greatest fullness is vacuity,
Its work unexhausted remaineth."
||Extreme perfection seems imperfect, its function is not exhausted. Extreme fullness
appears empty, its function is not exercised.
||Do thou what's straight still crooked deem; Thy greatest art still stupid seem,
And eloquence a stammering scream.
"Straightest lines resemble curves; Greatest skill like a tyro serves; Greatest
eloquence stammers and swerves."
|Extreme straightness appears crooked; great skill, clumsy; great eloquence, stammering.
||Constant action overcomes cold; being still overcomes heat. Purity
and stillness give the correct law to all under heaven.
|Motion conquers cold. Quietude conquers heat. Purity and clearness are the world's
||Motion conquers cold, quietude conquers heat. Not greatness but purity and clearness
are the world's standard.