A furious Bull with nostrils breathing fire,
To punish Minos sent by Neptune's ire,
Roams wild in vengeance thro' his wide domains,
And death & terror spreads o'er Crete's fair plains;
But soon the bellowing beast alive he caught,
And vainly struggling to Eurystheus brought.
Heracles was compelled to capture the cretan bull as his seventh task. He sailed to Crete, whereupon the King of Crete, Minos, gave Heracles permission to take the bull away, as it had been wreaking havoc on Crete. Heracles used his hands to strangle the bull, and then shipped it back to Athens. Eurystheus wanted to sacrifice the bull to Hera, who hated Heracles. She refused the sacrifice because it reflected glory on Heracles. The bull was released and wandered into Marathon, becoming known as the Marathonian Bull. Some stories say that Heracles killed King Minos' minotaur as the seventh labour.