Page:The Garden of Romance - 1897.djvu/87

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me." And then he looked on his armour, and under- stood he was well armed, and therewith blessed him, and mounted upon his horse.

Then afore him he saw come riding out of a castle a knight, and his horse trapped all red, and himself in the same colour. When this knight in the red beheld Balin, him thought it should be his brother Balin, because of his two swords, but because he knew not his shield, he deemed it was not he. And so they aventred their spears, and came marvellously fast together, and they smote each other in the shields, but their spears and their course were so big that it bare down horse and man, that they lay both in a swoon. But Balin was bruised sore with the fall of his horse, for he was weary of travel. And Balan was the first that rose on foot and drew his sword, and went toward Balin, and he arose and went against him, but Balan smote Balin first, and he put up his shield, and smote him through the shield and cleft his helm. Then Balin smote him again with that unhappy sword, and well nigh had felled his brother Balan, and so they fought there together till their breaths failed. Then Balin looked up to the castle, and saw the towers stand full of ladies. So they went to battle again, and wounded each other dolefully, and then they breathed oft-times, and so went unto battle, that all the place there as they fought was blood red. And at that time there was none of them both but they had smitten either other seven great wounds ; so that the least of them might have been the death of the mightiest giant in the world. Then they went to battle again so marvel- lously, that doubt it was to hear of that battle ; for the great bloodshedding, and their hawberks unnailed, that naked they were on every side : at the last Balan, the

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