For out of olde feldes, as men seyth,
Cometh al this newe corn from yer to yere,
And out of olde bokes, in good feyth,
Cometh al this newe science that men lere.
– Geoffrey Chaucer, Parliament of Fowls.
For out of old fields, as men say,
comes all this new corn from year to year,
And out of old books, in good faith,
Comes all this new science that men learn.
Here Chaucer is speaking of the legacy of the written word. His work is a product of his own imagination but its also a product of everything he's read.
I'm fascinated by this because in the digital age this fact tends to be lost. Anything older than a few years is considered passe and obsolete.