a child loaned

I send 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 your 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 this 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’ll run.
We’ll shelter him with tenderness,
we’ll love him while we may,
and for the happiness we’ve known,
for ever grateful stay.’

But should the angels call on him
much sooner than we planned,
we’ll brave the bitter grief that comes
and try to understand.

Don Larson