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Aristomenes1, his strange ambiguous fate,
2Unto the noble reader I’ll relate.
3Thrice of his liberty he was restrained;
4Thrice by a miracle his freedom gained.
5Last in a dismal dungeon he was put
6From light and joy, to night and sorrow shut.
7No fellows but dead bodies ’bout him lay,
8On which–O, strange!–a jackal came to prey.
9He whose courageous heart did never fail
Start2up and caught old
Reynard3by the tail.
11The frighted fox returned the way she came;
He kept in’s4hold, in hope to do the same.
13And when the hole too little was (alas!),
14He scraped it bigger till himself could pass.
with’s6nails so digs his grave;
16He scraped, his life and liberty to have.
17Then let my
royal friends that captive be7,
various8fortune of this warrior see
19And rest in hope; for though no help be found
20Above, yet it may come from underground.
21Who would have thought one of
Ham’s cursed race9
22Should only pity
23Or who that
Merodach11should comfort bring
24To Judah’s sad, dejected, captive king?
25Or that the
swashing Swedes12should hear the moan
Of Rhine’s elector, him to reinthrone13?
the royal branches14trust in God:
The staff of comfort still succeeds the rod15.