For Whom the Bell Tolls

“All mankind is of one author, and is one volume;

when one man dies, one chapter is not torn out of the book,

but translated into a better language;

and every chapter must be so translated;

God employs several translators;

some pieces are translated by age,

some by sickness, some by war, some by justice;

but God’s hand is in every translation,

and his hand shall bind up all our scattered leaves

again for that library where every book

shall lie open to one another.

No man is an island, entire of itself;

every man is a piece of the continent,

a part of the main…

any man’s death diminishes me,

because I am involved in mankind,

and therefore never send to know

for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.

No man hath affliction enough

that is not matured and ripened by it,

and made fit for God by that affliction.”

Meditation #17 By John Donne From Devotions upon Emergent Occasions (1623), XVII:
Nunc Lento Sonitu Dicunt, Morieris (Now this bell, tolling softly for another, says to me, Thou must die.)

Read the whole Meditation here