The Sonnets: 59

By William Shakespeare

If there be nothing new, but that which is

Hath been before, how are our brains beguil'd,

Which labouring for invention bear amiss

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 composed wonder of your frame;

Wh'r we are mended, or wh'r better they,

Or whether revolution be the same.

O! sure I am the wits of former days,

To subjects worse have given admiring praise.