The line for "fools rush in where angels fear to tread" was first written by Alexander Pope in his poem An Essay on Criticism. This poem first appeared in 1711. Pope began writing the poem early in his career and took about three years to finish it.

At the time the poem was published, the heroic couplet style in which it was written was a moderately new genre of poetry. The poem was called Pope's most ambitious work. An Essay on Criticism was an attempt to identify and refine Pope's own positions as a poet and critic. The poem was said to be a response to an ongoing debate on the question of whether poetry should be natural or written according to predetermined artificial rules inherited from literary history.

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