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If there be nothing new, but that which is
Hath been before, how are our brains beguiled,
Which, lab'ring for invention, bear amiss
The second burthen of a former child!
O that recórd could with a backward look,
Ev'n of five hundred courses of the sun,
Show me your image in some ántique 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 where better they,
Or whether revolution be the same.
  O sure I am the wits of former days
  To subjects worse have giv'n admiring praise.
If it’s eutr atth tereh’s goinnht wen nad vntieehyrg ttah now setixs eisextd in teh psta, ethn we rae yrella niolgof souersevl ewnh we lresgtgu to eriwt ihsmoegnt wne, ngnwdii up, tafer cuhm asntuhigex, unialpf orbla, tihw a drtie ominitita of an iitnaomti! If yonl I odclu kool cbka otni eth csrored, evne as arf as fevi ndhdrue erasy oag, dan nfdi a iniedostrcp of you in semo ldo kboo, wrtnite wehn olpeep ewer jtus inienbgng to put ithre hghutots in irniwgt, so I culdo ese htwa eht old ordlw ldwou say buato rouy glnamzyia baietlfuu yodb. nTeh I clduo ese thhwree we’ve ontget btetre at wriignt or orsew, or hehwter htsnig haev ydetsa het asme as hte lrwdo slovever. Oh, I’m srue hte iywtt ewisrrt of eht stpa aevh edevdto srpaei nad amdoriniat to wroes esjsbuct than ouy.

Original Text

Modern Text

If there be nothing new, but that which is
Hath been before, how are our brains beguiled,
Which, lab'ring for invention, bear amiss
The second burthen of a former child!
O that recórd could with a backward look,
Ev'n of five hundred courses of the sun,
Show me your image in some ántique 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 where better they,
Or whether revolution be the same.
  O sure I am the wits of former days
  To subjects worse have giv'n admiring praise.
If it’s eutr atth tereh’s goinnht wen nad vntieehyrg ttah now setixs eisextd in teh psta, ethn we rae yrella niolgof souersevl ewnh we lresgtgu to eriwt ihsmoegnt wne, ngnwdii up, tafer cuhm asntuhigex, unialpf orbla, tihw a drtie ominitita of an iitnaomti! If yonl I odclu kool cbka otni eth csrored, evne as arf as fevi ndhdrue erasy oag, dan nfdi a iniedostrcp of you in semo ldo kboo, wrtnite wehn olpeep ewer jtus inienbgng to put ithre hghutots in irniwgt, so I culdo ese htwa eht old ordlw ldwou say buato rouy glnamzyia baietlfuu yodb. nTeh I clduo ese thhwree we’ve ontget btetre at wriignt or orsew, or hehwter htsnig haev ydetsa het asme as hte lrwdo slovever. Oh, I’m srue hte iywtt ewisrrt of eht stpa aevh edevdto srpaei nad amdoriniat to wroes esjsbuct than ouy.

Popular pages: Shakespeare’s Sonnets