Then he must have possessed a subtlety purely
feminine, or have been advised by one of his wives in his building
operations, or by some favorite female slave. Blundering, unsubtle man
would probably think that the best way to attract and to fix attention
on any object was to make it much bigger than things near and around
it, to set up a giant among dwarfs.
Not so Queen Hatshepsu. More artful in her generation, she set her
long but little temple against the precipices of Libya. And what is
the result? Simply that whenever one looks toward them one says, "What
are those little pillars?" Or if one is more instructed, one thinks
about Queen Hatshepsu. The precipices are as nothing. A woman's wile
has blotted them out.
And yet how grand they are! I have called them tiger-colored
precipices. And they suggest tawny wild beasts, fierce, bred in a land
that is the prey of the sun. Every shade of orange and yellow glows
and grows pale on their bosses, in their clefts. They shoot out
turrets of rock that blaze like flames in the day. They show great
teeth, like the tiger when any one draws near. And, like the tiger,
they seem perpetually informed by a spirit that is angry. Blake wrote
of the tiger:
"Tiger, tiger, burning bright
In the forests of the night."
These tiger-precipices of Libya are burning things, avid like beasts