He was not of high stature or status. Not for glory and not for his hire, With his very peculiar verve Through his life he just walked high above us: On a wire, on a wire That was tight like a nerve. Here he walks, such a height! With no safety at all. A slight tilt to the right: He could die, he could fall! A slight tilt to the left and he cannot be saved. But there must be a reason hes walking today The full four quarters of the way. "He will make it, of course he will make it," Three trained bears from Malaya Reassured a large elephant seal. But the stubborn, tempestuous parrots Were replying, were replying: "No he wont. He will fall, a done deal." Here he walks, such a height! With no safety at all. A slight tilt to the right: He could die, he could fall! A slight tilt to the left and he cannot be saved. For some reason hes bonded to walk every day The full four quarters of the way. And the spotlights were stabbing like laurels, Were diverting him from striding, And the trumpet was booming like two. Shouts of "Bravo!" and cymbals in chorus All were striking, all were striking: Like a hit that comes out of the blue! Here he walks, such a height! With no safety at all. A slight tilt to the right: He could die, he could fall! A slight tilt to the left and he cannot be saved. But for now he will have to continue today The last three quarters of the way. "Oh, how dreadful, how sweet, and how daring: To fight death for three minutes!" - Their mouths open and ready to cry, From the stalls of the audience glaring - "Lilliputians, Lilliputians", He then thought to himself from on high. Here he walks, such a height! With no safety at all. A slight tilt to the right: He could die, he could fall! A slight tilt to the left and he cannot be saved. But be quite, for he still have to finish today The last two quarters of the way. He would laugh at momentary glory, Would ignore the rhetorical talking, Only wanting to be number one. Not above the arena on a tightrope, On the nerves, on our nerves he is walking Every day to the beat of a drum! Here he walks, such a height! With no safety at all. A slight tilt to the right: He could die, he could fall! A slight tilt to the left and he cannot be saved. But hold still, for he almost has finished today: The final quarter of the way. The beast handler then bellowed in horror, And a stretcher was brought in a moment, But the verdict was simple and strict: Matters not if hes absent or focused, On the sawdust, on the sawdust His own blood and frustration were spilled. Now another will risk With no safety at all. A thin cord underneath: He could die, he could fall! To the right, to the left, and he cannot be saved. For some reason he too has to walk every day: The four long quarters of the way.
Kirill Tolmachev. Translation, 2022