Tuesday, January 15, 2013


A little learning is a dang'rous thing ;
Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring :
There shallow draughts 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 advanc'd, 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 ;
Th' eternal snows appear already past,
And the first clouds and mountains seem the last ;
But those attain'd, we tremble to survey
The growing labours of the lengthen'd way ;
Th' increasing prospect tires our wand'rings eyes,
Hill peep o’er hills, and Alps on Alps arise !

Alexander Pope:  From  An Essay On Criticism (1709)

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