Fall from grace

Let’s see if Lionel Trèslégère
can seal his claim to fame
by walking on a tightrope
across the river Seine.

Looking very good so far —
he’s high above the crowd,
who wave baguettes and berets
to the airman in the clouds.

Oh no, he’s lost his footing!
He’s hurtling through the air!
Terror strikes the watching throng
who shriek and tear their hair!

Just then a pretty parachute
explodes from Lionel’s back,
and he glides to earth serenely
into the Rue du Bac.

The crowd is turning angry now,
shrill voices can be heard:
‘Get that cheating salaud,
that yellow-bellied merde!’

‘If you fall off a tightrope
(or corde raide, as we say)
at least have the politesse
to fall all the way.’



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