The Tale of Balen
Swinburne's Arthurian grand poem
First edition. Hardback, bound in the original blue buckram with gilt titling to spine and upper board. 19.5 × 13cm, 132pp + 32 pages ads.
Swinburne's second grand poem on Arthurian themes (after Tristan), and is the tale of the Knight Balen, whose destiny is sealed by the arrival of a mysterious damsel bearing a sword that only the "most virtuous" knight in Arthur's court will be able to draw; Balen draws this sword easily. His adventures end when Balen and his brother Balan destroy each other in single combat, fulfilling an earlier prophecy about the destiny of the bearer of the damsel's sword.
This copy is in good readable condition. The blue cloth is faded to the spine and edges. The inner binding is secure, the pages have a little spotted foxing. Previous owner's modern bookplate to ffep.