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Mighty Blondin, Master of Impossibility,
who could match that trance of concentration,
as you stride along that narrow fibre road
suspended above that deafening churn of foam.
With necks craning, we watch the airborne speck
you've become. We are entranced as much as you.
Our dread anticipates that catastrophic
tumble that must surely be your fate.
We marvel as, sublimely, you keep mortality at bay.
You died in obscurity, it's true, not far
from this forgotten corner where I write.
But how could death obscure you,
the mythic jester who befriended gravity?
Between that cosmic monster and any
member of humanity, there can be no fight.
But you discovered how to parley
with the beast. It let you ride upon
its back. My life is stretched as taut
as any rope you ever trusted your life to,
yet I am too frightened by the prospect
of the fall to beguile the monster,
to join it in its play.
Even you were not immune to accident.
Tell me, Blondin, on that Dublin day
when at last the