“I’ll lend you for a little time,
A child of mine,” God said;
“For you to love the while he lives,
And mourn for when he’s dead.
It may be four or five years,
Or twenty-two or three
But will you, ’till I call him back
Take care of him for Me?
He’ll bring his charms to gladden you,
And shall his stay be brief
You’ll have his lovely memories,
As solace for your grief
I cannot promise he will stay,
Since all from earth return
But there are lessons taught down there,
I want this child to learn
I’ve looked in the wide world over
In my search for teachers true,
And from the throngs that crowd life’s lane,
I have selected you,
Now will you give him all your love,
Not think the labor vain,
Nor hate me when I come
To take him back again?
I fancied that I heard them say:
‘Dear Lord, Thy will be done!
For all the joy Thy child shall bring,
The risk of grief we’ll run.
We’ll shelter him while we may,
And for all the happiness we’ve known,
Forever grateful stay.
But shall the angels call him
Much sooner than we’ve planned,
We’ll brave the bitter grief that comes,
And surely understand.’
– – – written by Edgar A. Guest