Sunday, September 11, 2005

The Tolling Bells Remembered

From the bells of the church adjoining, I am daily remembered of my burial in the funerals of others. (16)

Now, this Bell tolling softly for another, says to me, Thou must die.

As therefore the Bell that rings to a Sermon, calls not upon the Preacher only, but upon the Congregation to come; so this Bell calls us all...Who casts not up his Eye to the Sun when it rises?...who bends not his ear to any bell, which upon any occasion rings? but who can remove it from that bell, which is passing a piece of himself out of this world? No man is an Island, entirely of its self; every man is a piece of the Continent, a part of the main; if a Clod be washed away by the Sea, Europe is the less...Any mans death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankind; And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee...(17)

~ John Donne, from Meditations 16 and 17 (with apologies for modernized spelling)