I came across the following sentence in the context of four professional men discussing a plot to retrieve their lost $1 million, swindled from them by a nouveau riche American banker in Jeffery Archer’s novel, “Not a Penny More, Not a Penny Less”:
The man that once did sell the lion’s skin
While the beast liv’d was killed with hunting him.
The line reminded me of a Japanese proverb, “ミイラ取りがミイラになる - A mummy searcher always ends up as a mummy,” which I think is close to an English saying, “Go for wool and come home shorn.”
What is the exact meaning of the above two lines? Is this a popular English metaphor?
Why is there no period at the end of the first line while the second line starts with the capital?
Is it wrong to rearrange the sentence as follows?
The man that once did sell the lion’s skin was killed with hunting a lion while the beast liv’d.