Of all the companions of Artemis
The Goddess loved Britomartis the best.
Britomartis was a Cretan girl who lived by the sea,
And there she spent her time frolicking in the wildwoods and leaves.
She vowed to Artemis that a virgin she would always remain
And never to leave the wilderness's domain.
For she, the great huntress of Crete,
Would never bend down to any man's feet.
One day while she mediated upon a cliff
To rest from the hunt's shift,
King Minos spotted her afar from a ship
And felt love kiss him on the lips.
He said, "I must know her name
For I shall be damned with shame
To not know this beautiful maiden there
Whose hair and face so fair."
He stopped the ship and went ashore
To climb the cliff where the girl had won his adore.
Britomartis who was confused began, "Who goes there
That climbed the rocky steep?" Her eyes glared.
"I am King Minos," he said with pride,
"And I desire to make you as my bride
For you have won my heart miles away;
No woman in my life could make me sway."
Britomartis, shocked at his blunt remark,
Turned away which stabbed his heart.
She said, "Although you are a king,
You are merely a stranger whom is worth a string.
I have no interest your love
For I, Britomartis, serve the Virgin Huntress whom shoot doves."
King Minos in despair bent down on his knees
And begged, "Britomartis, give up that chaste and hunt for me,
And you'll be the wealthy Queen of Crete
With adoring servants that attend your feet."
Britomartis shook her head. "I do not wish to be a queen or wife,
And I've never loved anyone more in my life
Than the Goddess of the hunt whom I have pledged
To be Her eternal maiden to the end.
And this is my final decision, so let it be,
Don't think to persuade me with any more pleas."
Outraged that she had rejected him,
King Minos lusty thoughts grew grim.
"If I cannot have you," he began. "Then I shall take you by force.
Accept my other polite offer or you shall be given no remorse."
Britomartis glanced at him and felt behind her the wispy breeze,
She said, "I choose neither for I rather die in the sea
Then give up my chaste life for a lecherous man like thee."
And so her words echoed as she leaped toward the sea
And closed her eyes for the moment to be set free.
Artemis had been watching over the girl
And granted her immortality as a gift of hers.
As Britomartis drifted under the sea,
She realized that she could breathe.
She swam above and emerged out of the crashing waves
And saw King Minos shouting on shore amidst the haze.
Britomartis quickly swam toward a fishing boat
And hollered out for help until she grabbed a rope.
The fishermen pulled her out,
And Britomartis went along their route
As she hid among their nets to hide
From King Minos outside.
There the fishermen—most quite kind
Allowed Britomartis to take her time
And leave the boat when she felt safe
After King Minos stopped looking in the water for her shape.
But there was one fisherman named Andromedes whom
Had in store for her a doom
To taste her flesh with his hands
And perform the acts of Pan.
Before he could sully her chaste,
Britomartis, quick-minded, jumped out of the boat with haste
And fled to the grove of Aigina on shore.
This affected the fate of Britomartis forevermore
When the Goddess guided her for days
And revealed her companion the grove's innermost maze
Where one could never find the girl inside
The grove of Aigina that hid her for eternal time.