No man is an island,
Entire of itself.
Each 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 thine own
Or of thine friend's were.
Each man's death diminishes me,
For I am involved in mankind.
Therefore, send not to know
For whom the bell tolls,
It tolls for thee.
These famous words
by John Donne were not originally written as a poem - the
passage is taken from the 1624 Meditation 17, from Devotions
Upon Emergent Occasions and is prose. The words of the original
passage are as follows:
Devotions upon Emergent Occasions
"No man is an iland, intire of it selfe;
every man is a peece of the Continent, a part of the maine; if a
clod bee washed away by the Sea, Europe is the lesse, as well as
if a Promontorie were, as well as if a Mannor of thy friends or
of thine owne were; any mans death diminishes me, because I am
involved in Mankinde; And therefore never send to know for whom
the bell tolls; It tolls for thee...."