"I'll lend you for a liitle while
A child of mine," God said -
"For you to love the while
And mourn for when she's dead.
It may be one or two years
Or forty two or three:
But will you, till I call her back,
Take care of her for me?
She'll bring her charms to
And - (should her stay be brief) -
You"ll have her lovely memories
As a solace for your grief.
I cannot promise she will stay,
Since ALL from earth return;
But the lessons taught below
I want this child to learn.
I've looked the whole world over
In search for teachers true;
And from the things that crowd
Life's lane - I have chosen you.
Will you give her all your love?
nor think the labor vain?
Nor hate me when I come to take
This lent child back again?"
I fancied that I heard them say
"Dear Lord. Thy will be done.
For joys Thy child will bring
The risk of grief we'll run.
We will shelter her with tenderness,
We'll love her while we may -
And for the happiness we've known
Forever grateful stay.
But should Thy angels call for her
Much sooner than we've planned.
We'll brave the grief that comes
And try to understand."