When fair Pasiphaë craved the bull
she took heroic measures—
engaged the famed artificer
to guarantee her pleasures.
He built a comely cow of wood
covered in soft cow-hide,
politely showed the queen how best
to arrange herself inside,
and left her in a fragrant field
where the bull would often roam.
It came, and with a bull’s finesse
soon made itself at home.
The outcome was an unlikely lad
half brute, half man, they say—
a tortuous labyrinth was built
to keep him stashed away—
but proud Pasiphaë had her wish
and ruled for many a year
praising the mighty Ocean Lord
who’d charmed away her fear.
This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 20 Number 1, on page 78
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