You can make the second line work without torturing the language. Conjugating "Escape" traditionally, you get
He, she or it escapeth
So if you use real English, the second line could be written as
Proper English results in proper scansion and the prosody you want. If only more people spoke proper English. If only I spoke Perl half as well as I speak English! :-) And this post would be formatted much better if only I spoke HTML.