broken lines (collection 65)

He who advances
Without seeking
Fame,
Who retreats
Without escaping
Blame,
He whose one aim is
To protect his people
And serve his lord,
This man is
A Jewel of the Realm.

He regards his tropps
As his children,
And they will go with him
Into the deepest ravine.
He regards them
As his loved ones,
And they will stand by him
Unto death.

If he is generous,
But cannot command,
If he is affectionate
But cannot give orders,
If he is chaotic
And cannok keep order,
Then his men
Will be like
Spoiled children,
And useless.

If we know that our own troops
Are capable of attacking
But fail to see
That the enemy
Is not vulnerable,
We have only
Half of victory.

If we know that the enemy
Is vulnerable
But fail to see
That our own troops
Are incapable of attacking,
We have only
Half of victory.

If we know that the enemy
Is vulnerable
And know that our own troops
Are capable of attacking,
But fail to see
That the terrain
Is unfit for attack,
We still have only
Half of victory.

The Wise Warrior,
When he moves,
Is never confused;
When he acts,
Is never at a loss.

So it is said:
“Know the enemy,
Know yourself,
And victory
Is never in doubt,
Not in a hundred battles.”

Know Heaven,
Know Earth,
And your victory
is complete.

excerpt from Chapter 10
Forms of Terrain, Art of War – Sun Tzu

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