"I'll lend to you for a little time,
A child of mine," God said,
"For you to love while she lives
And mourn for when she's dead."
"It may be six or seven years
Or twenty-two or three,
But will you till I call her back,
Take care of her for me?"
"She'll bring her charms to gladden you
And should her stay be brief,
You'll have these precious memories
To comfort you through grief."
"I cannot promise she will stay
Since all from earth return.
But there are lessons taught down there
I want this child to learn."
"I've looked this world over,
In my search for teachers true.
In the crowds of this great land,
I have selected you."
"Now will you give her all your love
Not think the labor vain,
Nor hate me when I come to call
To take her back again?"
It seems to me I heard them say,
"Dear Lord, thy will be done.
For all the joys a child shall bring,
The risk of grief we'll run."
"We'll shelter her with tenderness,
We'll love her while we may,
And for the happiness we've known
Forever grateful stay."
"And should the angels call for her
Much sooner than we've planned,
We'll brave the bitter grief that comes
And try to understand."
© Edgar A. Guest