"I'll lend to 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 these precious 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 whole world over
In my search for teachers true;
And in the crowds that throng life's land,
I have selected you.
Now will you give him all your love ...
Not think the labor vain,
Nor hate me when I come to call
To take him back again?
It seems to me I heard them say,
"Dear Lord, Thy will be done;
For all the joys thy 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.
And should the angels call for him
Much sooner than we've planned,
We'll brave the bitter grief that comes
And try to understand."