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 friends 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


~John Donne~



Parable of Immortality



I am standing upon the seashore,

A ship at my side spreads her white sails to the morning breeze

And starts for the blue ocean,

She is an object of beauty and strength,

And I stand and watch until at last she hangs

Like a speck of white cloud

Just where the sea and sky come down to mingle with each other.

Then someone at my side says,

“There she goes!”

Gone where?

Gone from my sight…that is all.

She is just as large in mast and hull and spar

As she was when she left my side

And just as able to bear her load of living freight

To the place of destination.

Her diminished size is in me, not in her.

And just at the moment

When someone at my side says,

“There she goes!”

there are other eyes watching her coming….

And other voices ready to take up the glad shout….

“Here she comes!”


~Henry Van Dyke~