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Did You Know?Did You Know?

No Man is an Island...For Whom the Bell Tolls

This famous passage by John Donne (1573-1631) is not a poem--it is prose. It is a passage from Meditation 17, from Devotions Upon Emergent Occasions, 1624. Below is the passage with modern spelling.

Meditation 17

Nuc lento sonitu dicunt, morieris.
Now this bell tolling softly for another, says to me, Thou must die.

" ...No man is an island, entire of itself; 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, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend's or of thine own were. 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..."

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Last updated by teeterj on Oct. 31, 2011

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