An illustration of Giles Corey’s crushing death. [Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division] The Crushing Death of Giles Corey of Salem, 1692
Presented to the Danvers Centenary Celebration, June 1 6th, 1852, by Fitch Poole, Esq.
Giles Corey's Dream 1692
Giles Corey lay in Salem Goal,
A stubborn gizzard he;
Dame Corey slumbered by his side,
A guilty witch was she.
And as they lay one Sunday morn
All in their place of shame,
Giles Corey had a troubled dream,
And told it to his dame.
My good wife clear, I’ve dreamed a
dream All through ye livelong night,
And coming things were shown to me
In vision clear and bright.
I dreamed a hundred years were past.
And sixty more were gone,
And then I stood a living man ;
Alas ! I stood alone.
I was among strange phantoms there,
No living soul I knew ;
And you will hardly wonder, dame —
’Twas eighteen fifty-two.'
Qnoth she. “Dear Giles what did you see
In that far distant daye?
Your dreaming thoughts I long to beare.
Come tell me now, I pray.”
“My dear good wife, I’ll tell my dream,
If you will patient heare,
How specters strange did stare at mo,
And loudly laugh and jeere.
At length a ghost of pleasant mein,
Did listen to my story;
I sayde, ‘l’m called a wizzard man,
My name is Goodman Corey.’
I told him I was doomed to dye
By hanging or by pressing ;
The mode it all depended on
My silence or confessing.
ln Salem Village once, he sayde,
‘Such deeds they did allow;
That dark delusion ’s had its day,
And men are wiser now.
You stand he sayde, ‘upon ye spot,
So sadly known ,o fame ;
No longer is it Salem called,
But Danvers is its name.’
‘Aha, said I, (’twas in my dream,)
I'll see this altered place;
1 look at once to look upon
This boasted wiser race.
I traveled on to Blind Hole Swamp,
The fields were bright and gay,
From Skelton’s Neck to Brooksby’s Vale,
I then pursued my way.
And I roamed in eager Haste;
With ardent hope and Wishful;
Too soon I found my wandering feet,
Quite in ye Devil's Dishfulle.
Here goblins came, and I must own
At first in Terror bounds me ;
I spake them fair and bade them come
And gather quick around me.
Full soon I saw that I had come
Amongst a Race of Witches,
For every man I looked upon
Was destitute of breeches.”
“Fye! Oh Fye!” said Goody Corey,
(And sharply spake the Dame)
“That you should look upon them thus,
I blush for very shame,”
“Pray, hear me out impatient wife;
For know these wizzard coons.
Although they had no breeches on,
Were clothed with pantaloons.
And, ah, how queer the women looked!
’T would waken your compassion
To see what awkward clothes they wore,
So strangely out of fashion.
I looked upon ye ancient men—
No toothless gams had they;
Their aged htads were never bald ;
Their hair was seldom gray;
Now Martha Corev spake aloud.
With mott indignant frowne ;
“I don’t believe a word you saye
About this Danvers towne.”
Her Goodman sayde, with quiet tone,
(A pleasant speech had he.)
“Remember, dame, I dreamed of this—
It thus appeared to me.
I saw a man pall all his teeth—
It took him bnt a minute ;
He ooed his month and pul them back—
I thought ye dence was in it.
I saw a man cut off a limb—
The surgeon’s knife all gory ;
But yet ye patient felt no paine.”
“ *T is false l” sayde Goody Corey.
“ T was in my dream I saw it, dame ;
I saw him take, ye stitches ;
And then I knew I’d fell amongst
A real race of witches.
I met a man who’d lost an eye,
And chose to have another;
He bought one at ye nearest shop,
Just like its living: brother.
I bad a raging tooth to draw;
(To you it will seem a Fable)
I went to sleep, and then awoke
And found it on ye table.
I don't believe a word you saye,
said faithless Goody Corey;
"Just show the molar tooth to me,
And I'll believe your story."
I looked upon this wlzzard's face
With still increasing wonder;
They drew ye lightning from ye skies,
And bottled up ye thunder.
They carried news by lightning teams ;
Made portraits with ye sun ;
Used cotton for their gunpowder,
To charge ye sporting gun.
A magic substance they have founde,
And iome Ingenious lubber
Makes everything save consciences
Of patent India rubber.
To light their homes with flaming air,
Tue elements they torture.
And hope to get, by taking paines,
Their candle-light from water.
t told them that to see the world
l had a strong desire ;
They took me of! In vapoury cloud
And chariot* ot fire.
Full forty miles an hour they went.
By power of naught but steam ;
Their ships with] steam and wheels they
sent—I saw it in my dream.
I saw these wlzzards gather round
To listen to a tapping ;
In wide-mouthed wonder swallow all
The witcheries of rapping.
It was, I own, with Tiumble shame,
A mystery to me,
That souls in bliss should come to earth
To say their ABC.
Oh, what a miracle it seemed
In this the world’s advance,
When spirits left their bright abodes
To make a table dance
To have this awful mystery solved
I though they might be able ;
The faith that would a mountain move
Might also move a table.
Amazed. I saw how calm they were,
With all this spirit rising ;
They only called these magic arts
A kind of magnetizing.
So none for witchcraft met ye fate
Of Pharaoh’s luckless baker.
Nor did they seek, to drive or scourge
A Baptist or a Quaker.
I got me quick to Gallows Hill—
That fearful place to see,
Where witches are condemned to die
High on ye gallows tree.
I marveled much that there I found
The sod was smooth and bare ;
No mounds of freshly shoveled earth,
No grove of locusts there.
I went into a dwelling house ;
I ransacked every room ;
I could not find a spinning-wheel,
Nor yet a weaver’s loom.
They had no snuffers on ye shelf;
The dressers, too, had flown;
No pewter plates, well scrubbed and neat.
In order brightly shone ;
No settle by the kitchen fire,
No sand upon ye floor,
And when I asked for tinder*box
In laughter they did roar.
I went into another house ;
The fireplace was a box.
I looked within—instead of wood
I only found black rocks.
I walked into ye meeting house.
Just as the psalm was read ;
The parson had no surplus on,
No wig upon his head.
I saw no trace of sounding-board ;
No hour glass had they there.
To prove the sermon two hous long.
And measure off ye prayer ;
No chorister with tuning fork,
No tything-man so grim,
No worthy in yo deacon's seat,
To deacon off ye hymn.
But see, within that sacred h rt use,
That place of humble prayer,
What nodding plumes, with rusting silks,
What scornful looks were there.
I their cold and envious hearts,
Their shrewd and crafty dealings.
Their worldly thought—ln every face
The lack of Christian feeling.
I asked a shade. Why is it thus
That men in impious blindness
Seem pledged in total abstinence
From milk of human kindness?
I turned away with saddened thought
And pensive feelings led,
And sought ye place where living dust
Soon mingles with ye dead.
I looked noon ye hillocks greene
The winds were sweeping over,
And ghostly shadows flitted by,
Of forms beheld before.
Remembered names were sculptured there,
On many an ancient, stone ;
And one I saw over grown with moss ;
I looked—it was my own.
A sudden thrill came over me then,
So tearful did it seem
Such strange and witch-like scenes to
view, If only in a dream !”