I've been rereading the Song of Roland recently. When I came across this passage, where Roland first draws Durendal in the battle, I just had to share it:
"Count Roland is no laggard . . .
He draws forth Durendal, his fine, naked sword,
And spurs on his horse to strike at Chernubles.
He breaks his helmet with its gleaming carbuncles,
Slices off his coif and his scalp,
As well as slicing through his eyes and his face,
His shining hauberk with its close-meshed mail
His whole body right down to his crotch,
And right into his saddle which is of beaten gold;
His sword came to rest in the horse itself.
He slices through its spine, seeking no joint,
And flinging them both dead in the meadow on the lush grass.
Then he said to him: "Villain, you set out to meet your doom . . ."
From: The Song of Roland. Trans. G.S. Burgess. London: Penguin, 1990.