13. For Whom The Bell Tolls 1 On the day of his funeral, America heard a sermon King had made, and in his words would be shown to the nation what manner of man this had been that God had let walk in our land. 2 "If any of you are around on that day, I don't want a long funeral." He went on to say, "If you get somebody to talk on that day; tell him not to talk too long. Tell him not to mention 3 that I have a Nobel Peace Prize," he said. "That isn't important. I'd like someone, instead, to mention that day that Martin Luther King tried to give his life serving others," and continuing, 4 "I want him to be able to say on that day that I did try to feed the hungry," and he prayed, "I want him to be able to say that I did try in my life to clothe the naked." 5 "I want him to say on that day I did try in my life to visit those who were in prison. And I want him to say that I tried to love and serve humanity" -- that's all he thought of. 6 And Martin Luther King went home to his Lord. The things that he left us cannot be ignored. He took much less from life than he would give, and he had fundamentally changed the way that we live. 7 Bigotry is not dead; ignorance is still found. But the nation is different because he was around. And all Americans, whether black or white are all the richer for his work and light. 8 No one must go anymore to a separate place simply on account of difference of race, and there are no longer lynchings in our land -- America was inspired because he took a stand. 9 "No man is an island," King once said simply; "For some strange reason, we are all intricately bound up with one another, so that the death of any one diminishes all others," quoting on John Donne; 10 "so never send to find," concluding then said he "for whom it is the bell tolls -- for it tolls for thee." "If a man has not found something to die for, then his life is not worth living," he had said before. 11 Onto the people, this message beam, onto the workers, I have a dream. Take it, the birds, who fly to and fro, and spread it to the winds so all will know. 12 I have a dream that my children one day will live in a nation where men can say that they are not judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character within. 13 The light shines and darkness grasps it not; Sing onto the world this dream I have got. "You shall know the truth," says Jesus, and He says that "the truth shall set you free!" Return to Beginning of POeTRY Return to Beginning of Spring 1998 Issue