Sonnet 59: If There Be Nothing New, But That Which Is
If there be nothing new, but that which is
Hath been before, how are our brains beguiled,
Which, labouring for invention bear amis
The second burthen of a former child!
O, that record could with a backward look,
Even of five hundred courses of the sun,
Show me your image in some antique book,
Since mind at first in character was done.
That I might see what the old world could say
To this composèd wonder of your frame;
Whether we are mended, or whe'er better they,
Or whether revolution be the same.
O, sure I am the wits of former days
To subjects worse have given admiring praise.