Thou Art a Witch!

Thou Art a Witch!


By Elton Camp


 In the 1690s a horrible, warning example we find,

Of the danger when church and state are intertwined.

Number convicted as witches was twenty-nine

Though many more the Puritans came to malign.


Cotton Mather had paved the way for such thought.

He published pamphlets which ideas on witches taught.

It was held women more likely than men, Satan to serve

Women were lustful, weak and from right would swerve.


Witch-hunting could considerable profit make

Since the witches’ land the colony could take.

Most of the accused owned land

It could fall into another’s hand.


Relatives of the Salem minister

Acted in ways that were sinister.

The two girls made a strange sound

In the room, they threw things around.


Under furniture they would crawl

And then roll themselves into a ball.

“We are being pinched and feel pain.

And of pinpricks we also do complain.”


Other young women began to do the same

To their parents’ horror and great shame.

“The devil’s most surely come around

And is now taking over our fine town.”


The first accused were a group of three.

Who different from most proved to be.

Sarah Good was a homeless old dame.

Who to beg food to her neighbors came.


Sarah Osborne didn’t the church attend

And had sex with an unmarried friend.

Tituba was of the black race

So she had the music to face.


After those three were sent to jail

Others were accused without fail.

Next were women more undetectable

Because all were far more respectable.


Though true church members they happened to be

Of a charge of being witches, they didn’t stay free.

And then to nobody’s surprise,

Number accused began to rise.


On hearing of the number on trial,

Cotton Mather then began to smile.

“I knew witches were everywhere.

What happens to them I don’t care.”


Spectral evidence was taken as true

Witch spirit leaves body, evil to do.

A vision or dream was thus held to be right,

Though the “witch” was elsewhere that night.


That became the reason why

’Twas no help to have an alibi.

Of convicted, none were set loose.

All died by hanging from a noose.


Also, an eighty-year old man refused to reply.

Under the weight of stones was made to die.

To be less like Europe they did strive

And didn’t burn any “witches” alive.


People came to recognize the mistake.

That the testimony given had been fake.

Some still admire the goal:

To put the church in control.


For sure, no man’s life or property is safe

When under any church law they do chafe.

Union of church and state all should fear.

And so from that great evil do stay clear.


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What can happen when religion takes the reigns of government.