“A Dream of Beyond—All-Too-Beyond, Woman” by Volcano (J.B. Barnhill)

This short article was published in Volume 4, Number 1 of Georgia and Henry Replogle’s journal Egoism (1890) and was written by John Basil Barnhill (1864-1929) who went by the pseudonyms John Ewrin McCall (when editing The Eagle and The Serpent) and Volcano (when submitting writing to journals). You’ll note that the cover of The Martyrdom of Percy Whitcomb credits the author as “Erwin McCall, aka ‘Volcano'”.

The quote that leads this piece is from a peom by Ellen Sturgis Hooper (1812-1848). She is considered “one of the most gifted poets among the New England Transcendentalists”, and the poem contains a total of six lines and was originally printed in The Dial.


A Dream of Beyond–All-Too-Beyond, Woman.

“I slept and dreamed that life was beauty,
I woke and found that life was duty.”

No, not duty but—tragedy. I dreamed that social reformers no longer found the words of Coleridge a true description of their success with women:

“It seams a story from the world of spirits,
If any one obtains that which he merits
Or any merits that which he obtains.”

I dreamed that the handsomest, loveliest, women lavished all their charms and favors upon plumb-liners, ruthlessly boycotting all reactionaries and conservatives. Alas, it was a dream.

—–

Again I slept and dreamed that men and women were at last appreciated at their true worth and value, that is according to their ability to make the opposite sex happy.

The saint and hero was that one who could make twenty of the opposite sex happy. Such dreams are strands in the rope which connects us with beyond-man.—Arrows of longing for beyond-woman. Man yet will say :

I slept and dreamed that life was duty,
I woke and found that life was beauty.

VOLCANO.

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Filed under 1845-1945, Egoism, John Basil Barnhill