WHEN the people are no longer afraid of death,
Why scare them with the specter of death?
And they still persisted in breaking the law,
Then you might with reason arrest and execute them,
And who would dare to break the law?
To do the killing for the Great Executor
Is to chop wood for a master carpenter,
And you would be lucky indeed if you did not hurt
your own hand!
Translated by John C. H. Wu