The Tao Te Ching, Chapter 30
Peter Merel:
30. Violence

Powerful men are well advised not to use violence,
For violence has a habit of returning;
Thorns and weeds grow wherever an army goes,
And lean years follow a great war.

A general is well advised
To achieve nothing more than his orders:
Not to take advantage of his victory.
Nor to glory, boast or pride himself;
To do what is dictated by necessity,
Not by choice.

For even the strongest force will weaken with time,
And then its violence will return, and kill it.

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