Sunday, January 01, 2012

Dao De Jing, Laozi, Chapter 80

The Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu
Chapter 80

"The ideal land is small
Its people very few,
Where tools abound
Ten times or yet
A hundred-fold
Beyond their use;
Where people die
And die again
But never emigrate;
Have boats and carts
Which no one rides.
Weapons have they
And armor too,
But none displayed.
The folk returns
To use again
The knotted chords.
Their meat is sweet;
Their clothes adorned,
Their homes at peace,
Their customs charm.

And neighbor lands
Are juxtaposed
So each may hear
The barking dogs,
The crowing cocks
Across the way;
Where folks grow old
And folks will die
And never once
Exchange a call."
-   Translated by Raymond B. Blakney, 1955, Chapter 80 

"A small country has fewer people.
Though there are machines that can work ten to a hundred times faster than man, they are not needed.
The people take death seriously and do not travel far.
Though they have boats and carriages, no one uses them.
Though they have armor and weapons, no one displays them.
Men return to the knotting of rope in place of writing.
Their food is plain and good, their clothes fine but simple, their homes secure;
They are happy in their ways.
Though they live within sight of their neighbors,
And crowing cocks and barking dogs are heard across the way,
Yet they leave each other in peace while they grow old and die."
-   Translated by Jane English, 1972, Chapter 80 

"Let there be a small country with few people,
Who, even having much machinery, don't use it.
Who take death seriously and don't wander far away.
Even though they have boats and carriages, they never ride in them.
Having armor and weapons, they never go to war.
Let them return to measurement by tying knots in rope.
Sweeten their food, give them nice clothes, a peaceful abode and a relaxed life.
Even though the next country can be seen and its doges and chickens can be heard,
The people will grow old and die without visiting each others land."
-   Translated by Charles Muller, 1997, Chapter 80 

"A small state with few people.
Let the implements (ch'ih) for ten and hundred men be unused,
Let the people fear death such that they do not move far away.
Although there are boats and carriages,
There are no places to ride them to.
Although there are weapons and armours,
There are no occasions to display them.
Let the people again tie ropes and use them (as memory aids).
Let them enjoy their food,
Consider their clothing beautiful,
Be contented with their dwellings,
And happy with their customs.
The neighbouring states overlooking one another,
The dogs' barkings and cocks' crowings are heard from other states,
Yet till they are old and dying the people do not visit one another."
-   Translated by Ellen M. Chen, Chapter 80  

"Keep the kingdom small, its people few;
Make sure they have no use for tools
That do the work of tens or hundreds.
Nor let the people travel far
And leave their homes and risk their lives.
Boat or cart, if kept at all, best not to ride;
Shield and blade best not to show.
Guide them back to early times
When knotted cords served for signs,
And they took relish in their food
And delight in their dress,
Secure in their dwellings,
Content in their customs,
Although a neighbor kingdom stood in view
And the barnyard cries of cocks and dogs
Echoed from village to village,
Their folk would never traffic to and fro –
Never, to the last of their days."
-   Translated by Moss Roberts, 2001, Chapter 80  

"Small country, few people -
Hundreds of devices,
But none are used.
People ponder on death
And don't travel far.
They have carriages and boats,
But no one goes on board;
Weapons and armour,
But no one brandishes them.
They use knotted cords for counting.
Sweet is their food,
Beautiful their clothes,
Peaceful their homes,
Delightful their customs.
Neighboring countries are so close
You can hear their chickens and dogs.
But people grow old and die
Without needing to come and go."
-   Translated by Stephen Addiss, 1993, Chapter 80 


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