Below, you’ll find a full poem ‘From An Essay on Criticism’ by Alexander Pope.


A little learning is a dangerous thing;

 Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian Spring:

 There shallow drafts intoxicate the brain,

 And drinking largely sobers us again.

 Fired at first sight with what the Muse imparts,

 In fearless youth we tempt the heights of Arts;

 While from the bounded level of our mind

 Short views we take, nor see the lengths behind,

 But, more advanced, behold with strange surprise

 New distant scenes of endless science rise!

 So pleased at first the towering Alps we try,

 Mount o’er the vales and seem to tread the sky;

 The eternal snows appear already past, 

 And the first clouds and mountains seem the last:

 But those attained we tremble to survey

 The growing labours of the lengthened way;

 The increasing prospect tires our wandering eyes,

 Hills peep o’er hills, and Alps on Alps arise.

Alexander Pope


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  • Story + Summary
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  • Language Feature Analysis
  • Form and Structure Analysis
  • Context
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  • Themes + Deeper Ideas
  • Key Quotations
  • Extra tasks to complete by yourself

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