Earth is Like a Vessel
(6th century BCE, Chapter 29 from the Tao Te Ching)
Those who would take over the Earth
And shape it to their will
Never, I notice, succeed.
For the Earth is like a vessel so sacred
That at the merest touch of the profane—
It is marred,
And when they reach out their hands to grasp it—
It is gone.
For a time some force themselves ahead
And some are left behind,
For a time some make a great noise
And some are held silent,
For a time some are puffed fat
And some are kept hungry,
For a time some are held up
And some are destroyed.
But at no time will a man who is sane:
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