I’ll lend you for a little while
A child of mine, God said
For you to love the while she lives
And mourn for when she’s dead
It may be six or seven years,
Or forty-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 her lovely memories
As a solace for your grief
I cannot promise she will stay
For all from earth returns
But there are lessons taught below
I want this child to learn.
I’ve looked the whole world over
In my search for teachers true
And from all beings that crowd life’s land
I have chosen you
Now, will you give her all your love
Nor think the labor vain.
Nor hate me when I come to take
This lent child back again
I fancied that I heard you say
“Dear Lord, Thy will be done.
For all the joys Thy child will bring
The risk of grief we’ll run
We will shelter her with tenderness
We’ll love her while we may —
And for the happiness we have now know
Forever grateful stay.”
But should the angels come for her
Much sooner than we’d planned,
We’ll brave the bitter grief that comes
And try to understand.