f old those who were the best ruler (1) were
mysterious and profoundly penetrating;
Too deep to comprehend.
And because they cannot be comprehended,
I can only describe them arbitrarily:
Cautious,like crossing a frozen stream in the winter,
Being at a loss, like one fearing danger on all sides,
Reserved, like one visiting,
Supple and pliant, like ice about to melt,
Genuine, like a piece of uncarved wood (2)
Open and broad, like a valley,
Merged and undifferentiated, like muddy water.