"A Child Loaned"
"I'll lend you for a little time
a child of mine," He said,
"for you to love the whole while he lives.
It may be six or seven years or twenty-two or three,
but will you, till I call him back,
take care of him for me?"
"He'll bring his charm to gladden you,
and should 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 this wide world over
in my search for teachers true,
and from the things that crowd life's lane
I have selected you."
"Now will you give him all your love
nor think the labor vain,
Nor hate me when I come to call
And take him back again?"
"I fancied that I heard them say
'Dear Lord, Thy will be done,
for all the joy the child shall bring
the risk of grief we'll run.'
'We'll shelter him with tenderness;
We'll love him while we may,
and for the happiness we've known
forever grateful stay.
But should the angels call for him
much sooner than we planned,
We'll brave the bitter grief that comes
and try to understand.'"