Page:Paradise lost by Milton, John.djvu/77

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71
BOOK II.

Levied to side with warring winds, and poise
Their lighter wings. To whom these most adhere
He rules a moment; Chaos umpire sits,
And by decision more embroils the fray,
By which he reigns; next him high arbiter
Chance govern all. Into this wild Abyss910
—The womb of Nature and perhaps her grave,
Of neither sea, nor shore, nor air, nor fire,
But all these in their pregnant causes mixed
Confusedly, and which thus must ever fight,
Unless the almighty Maker them ordain
His dark materials to create more worlds—
Into this wild Abyss the wary Fiend
Stood on the brink of Hell and looked awhile,
Pondering his voyage; for no narrow frith
He had to cross. Nor was his ear less pealed920
With noises loud and ruinous—to compare
Great things with small—than when Bellona storms
With all her battering engines, bent to rase
Some capital city; or less than if this frame
Of heaven were falling, and these elements
In mutiny had from her axle torn
The steadfast earth. At last his sail-broad vans
He spreads for flight, and in the surging smoke
Up-lifted spurns the ground; thence many a league,