This is a 1624 prose work dedicated to future King Charles I of England by John Donne. It is a reflection of how John Donne recovered from a deadly disease, possibly typhus. The work had twenty- three devotions (parts) describing the progress of the illness. Each work is divided into Meditation, Espotulation (informal logic in objection), and Prayer. The most famous Meditation is perhaps Meditation XVII:
"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 aMannor 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."
In modern English:
"No man is and 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 bells tolls; it tolls for thee."
"For whom the Bell Tolls" was later adapted by Ernest Hemingway as the title for one of his books.
Bells in the Waste Land
"The pearl of bells"
This is the first mentioning of bells in the Waste Land. The second time is "Tolling Reminiscent Bells" in What the Thunger Said. The second bell is to remind of of the first bell, reminding us of our destiny. The bells here, if related to John Donne's work, might mean funeral bells.