5. The François le Métel de Boisrobert Clue

Robert Plant Conundrum - Rubens painting of Marie de Medici as Bellona, and a poem by Francois de Boisrobert
Marie de Médici as Bellona, by Peter Paul Rubens

François le Métel de Boisrobert (1592 – 1662) was a French poet; a favorite of both Marie de Médici and Cardinal Richelieu, as well as a close friend of Ninon de l'Enclos, Honoré de Balzac, and many other luminaries of the day. He was one of the founders of the Académie française, having proposed the idea to Richelieu.

The following passage is from a poem written by Boisrobert about famed cryptographer Antoine Rossignol:

Il n'est plus rien dessous les Cieux
Qu'on puisse cacher a tes yeux ;
Et crois que ces yeux de Lyncee
Lisent mesme dans la pensee.
Que ton service est eclatant
Et que ton Art est important !
On gagne par luy des Provinces,
On scait tous les secrets des Princes,
Et par luy, sans beaucoup d'efforts,
On prend les villes & les forts


Certes j'ignore ton adresse
Je ne comprends point la finesse
De ton secret; mais je scay bien
Qu'il t'a donne beaucoup de bien
Tu le merites, & je gage
Qu'il t'en donnera davantage;
Tousjours fortune te rira,
Et, tant que guerre durera,
Bellone exaltera tes Chittres
Parmy les tambours & les fiffres

There's not a thing beneath the skies;
That can be hidden from thine eyes;
Those Lynceus eyes, which, I believe,
Our most internal thoughts perceive.
How marvelous thy skill, and bright,
And how important thine art's might!
For with it provinces are gained,
All princes' secrets ascertained,
Any by it, with an effort small,
Are towns and forts compelled to fall.


Indeed, thy art's beyond my ken
And I shall never comprehend
Thy secret; but I now can tell
That it hath served thee very well.
Thou dost deserve it. Have no fears--
Thy skill shall prosper thee for years.
Too, Fortune will upon thee smile,
And long as wars the land defile
Bellona shall, in strife to come,
Thy cipher praise, 'midst fife and drum.

-The virtues we acquire, which develop slowly within us, are the invisible links that bind each one of our existences to the others - existences which the spirit alone remembers, for Matter has no memory for spiritual things. -Honore Balzac

LINK: François le Métel de Boisrobert at Wikipedia