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I’ll lend you a child

“I’ll lend you for a little time a child of Mine.” He said.
“For you to love the while he lives
And mourn for when he’s dead.
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 charms 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 the wide world over
In my search for teachers true,
And from the throngs that crowd life’s lanes
I have selected you.
Now will you give him all your love,
Not think the labour 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 Thy child shall bring,
The risk of grief we 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.”

Edgar Guest (1881 – 1959)