Heaven is eternal, the Earth everlasting.
How come they to be so? It is because they do not foster their own lives;
That is why they live so long.
天長用eternal:lasting or existing forever; without end or beginning.
地久用everlasting: lasting forever or for a very long time.
Therefore the Sage
Puts himself in the background; but is always to the fore.
Remains outside; but is always there.
Is it not just because he does not strive for any personal end
That all his personal ends are fulfilled?
以 personal end 個人目的譯私
The highest good is like that of water.
The goodness of water is that it benefits the ten thousand creatures; yet itself does not scramble, but is content with the places that all men disdain.
It is this makes water so near to the Way.
scramble爭，disdain: consider to be unworthy of one’s consideration.這個單詞譯處眾人之所惡比較好，無視之意。故此後文有百姓日用而不知。
And if men think the ground the best place for building a house upon,
If among thoughts they value those that are profound,
If in friendship they value gentleness,
In words, truth;
in government, good order;
In deeds, effectiveness;
in actions, timeliness.
In each case it is because they prefer what does not lead to strife,
And therefore does not go amiss.
amiss： wrongly or inappropriately. does not go amiss 無尤
Stretch a bow to the very full,
And you will wish you had stopped in time;
Temper a sword-edge to its very sharpest,
And you will find it soon grows dull.
When bronze and jade fill your hall.
It can no longer be guarded.
Wealth and place breed insolence.
That brings ruin in its train.
insolence：rude and disrespectful behavior.
That brings ruin in its train. 自遺其咎感覺譯的不太好。
When your work is done, then withdraw!
Such is Heaven’s Way.