Pope’s ‘An Essay on Criticism’

All Fools have still an Itching to deride,
And fain wou’d be upon the Laughing Side;
Whatever Nature has in Worth deny’d,
She gives in large Recruits of needful Pride;
Be not the first by whom the New are try’d,
Nor yet the last to lay the Old aside.
(Thus Wit, like Faith by each Man is apply’d
To one small Sect, and All are damn’d beside.)
While their weak Heads, like Towns unfortify’d,
‘Twixt Sense and Nonsense daily change their Side.
And never shock’d, and never turn’d aside,
Bursts out, resistless, with a thundering Tide!
Gen’rous Converse; a Sound exempt from Pride;
And Love to Praise, with Reason on his Side?

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