Poems of Lao Tzu

What is secure is easily grasped,
What has no omens is easily forstalled,
What is brittle is easily split,
What is miniscule is easily dispersed.

Act before there is a problem,
Bring order before there is disorder.

A tree that fills the arms' embrace
is born from a downy shoot;
A terrace nine layers high
starts from a basketful of earth,
An ascent of a hundred strides
begins beneath one's foot.

Who acts fails;
Who grasps loses.

For this reason
The sage does not act,
He does not fail.

He does not grasp;
He does not lose.

Lao Tzu

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2011 Selected Poetry
The Poets Garret
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