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Contents > Author > William Shakespeare > If there be nothing new, but that which is 1564- 1616
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William Shakespeare
If there be nothing new, but that which is
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Sonnet 59

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;
Whe'er 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.
 

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