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.

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This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 20 Number 1, on page 78
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