The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

Writing Exercise

Writing free verse is like playing tennis with no net. - Robert Frost

Psalm 2 (King James Version of the Bible)

Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?
2 The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying,
3 Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.
4 He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the LORD shall have them in derision.
5 Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure.
6 Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion.
7 I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my son; this day have I begotten thee.
8 Ask of me and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession.
9 Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.
10 Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth.
11 Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling.
12 Kiss thy Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him. 

Psalm 2 by John Milton (1653)

Why do the Gentiles tumult, and the Nations
Muse a vain thing, the Kings of th’earth upstand
With power, and Princes in their Congregations
Lay deep their plots together through each Land,
Against the Lord and his Messiah dear?
Let us break off, say they, by strength of hand
Their bonds, and cast from us, no more to wear,
Their twisted cords: he who in Heaven doth dwell
Shall laugh, the Lord shall scoff them, then severe
Speak to them in his wrath, and in his fell
And fierce ire trouble them; but I, saith he,
Anointed have my King (though ye rebel)
On Sion my holi’ hill. A firm decree
I will declare; the Lord to me hath said,
Thou art my son, I have begotten thee
This day; ask of me, and the grant is made;
As thy possession I on thee bestow
Th’Heathen, and as thy conqueror to be sway’d
Earth’s utmost bounds: them shalt thou bring full low
With Iron Scepter bruis’d, and them disperse
Like to a potter’s vessel shiver’d so.
And now be wise at length, ye Kings averse,
Be taught, ye Judges of the earth; with fear
Jehovah serve, and let your joy converse
With trembling; kiss the Son lest he appear
In anger and ye perish in the way,
If once his wrath take fire like fuel sere.
Happy all those who have him in their stay.

Psalm Two By Edward Taylor (1672)

Why do the Heathen rage? & folk
A vain thing meditate?
Kings of the earth do set themselves
& Rulers Counsel take
Against the Lord, & ‘gainst his Christ
Anointed, saying thus,
Let us asunder break Their bands
& casat Their Cords from us.

He that doth in the heavens sit
Shall laugh deriding ly;
The Lord Himself shall have them in
derision mightily.
Then shall He speak in’s wrath
In fury vex them will.
Yet have I set my King unto
Zion my holy hill.

I will declare out the decree
The Lord hath said to me:
Thou art Mine only Son, I have
this day begotten Thee.
Ask of Me, & the heathen for
Thine ‘heritance I’ll give
And th’ utmost parts of th’ earth for
Possession will bequeath.

Thou shalt them into pieces with
A rod of iron break;
Thou shalt them dash in pieces, like
A Potter’s vessel weak.
Be wise ye Kings, instructed
Ye Judges of the earth.
Serve ye the Lord with fear then
Rejoice with trembling mirth.