Adapted from a translation by David Sulz
Be not defeated by the rain,
Nor let the wind your master prove;
Succumb not to the wintry plain
Nor sultry summer let one move.
Be strong in body, by desire
Unfettered, not enticed to anger;
Cultivate joy, instead of ire,
Feed others first, despite one's hunger:
In quiet equanimity
Put others first, count oneself last;
Observe and hear attentively,
The lessons garnered holding fast.
A thatch-roof house, in shade of pine
Upon the meadow nestled nice;
Some simple fare on which to dine,
Rice, miso, greens—let these suffice.
If to the East, a child lies sick,
Go forth and nurse his convalescence;
If to the West, crone derelict,
Relieve her burden with one's presence.
If to the South, one dying lies,
Let words of courage fear dispel;
If to the North, harsh contest vies,
The ways of tranquil spirit tell.
In times of drought, not be withheld
The tears of knowing sympathy;
In summer chill, concern not quelled,
Companion walk in empathy.
Aloof from the unknowing masses
Better dismissed than to succumb
To greatness deigned by ignorant classes:
So I should be, or would become.