"When the Way prevails below the sky
Disbanded chargers dung the lad;
But when the Way the world deserts
War horses breed outside the towns.
No crime exceeds desire sanctioned,
No woe is worse than discontent,
No omen more dire than desire gained.
Truly with few wants content,
Contentment lasts as long as life."
- Translated by Moss Roberts, 2001, Chapter 46
"When the Dao rules, even the great war horses are used to plow the field,
When the Dao is overruled, even the pregnant horses are used in battle.
The biggest disaster is not knowing when to be satisfied,
The biggest mistake is to always want more.
Therefore, knowing when to be satisfied is the ever-lasting satisfaction."
- Translated by Xiaolin Yang, Chapter 46
"In a land where the way of life is understood
Race-horses are led back to serve the field;
In a land where the way of life is not understood
War-horses are bred on the autumn yield.
Owning is the entanglement,
Wanting is the bewilderment,
Taking is the presentiment:
Only he who contains content
- Translated by Witter Bynner, 1944, Chapter 46
"When dao reigns in the kingdom, galloping horses are turned back to fertilise certain fields with their manure.
If the world in accord with dao, racing horses are turned back to pull refuse carts.
When the world hardly lives in accord with dao, dao doesn't prevail or win.
Next war horses will be reared even on a sacred hill below the city walls, and blatant cavalry will frolic in the countryside, driving and riding pestering war horses in suburbs in between.
Dao does hardly prevail if war is on in city suburbs.
No lure is greater than to possess what others want.
There's no greater guilt than [sudden] discontent.
There's (...) greater disaster than greed.
[Eventually] there's hardly a greater sin than desire for possession.
No disaster could be greater than [...] to be content with what one has [in dire need and disabling poverty].
No presage of [airy] evil is greater than men wanting to get more.
He who has once known the pure [orgasm] contentment that comes simply through being content [at its peak], gets rather content-centred a long time after."
- Translated by Tormond Byrn, Chapter 46