by Edgar Albert Guest


"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 eight or nine 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

That I want him to learn.


I've looked this wide world over

In my search for teacher's true,

And from the throngs that crowd life's lanes,

I have selected you.


Now will you give all your love,

Not think the labor vain,

Nor hate when I come back to call

And take him back again?"


I fancied that I heard him say,

"Dear Lord thy will be done,

For all the joy my 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 angel call for him

Much sooner than we planned,

We'll brave the bitter grief that comes

And thy to understand."