'I'll lend you for a while, a child of mine, God said.
For you to love the while he lives, and mourn for when he's dead.
It may be six or eleven years, or forty 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 always have his memories as a solace for your grief.
I cannot promise he will stay, since all from earth return.
But there are lessons taught below I want this child to learn.
I've looked this whole world over in my search for teachers true.
And from the folks that crowd life's lane I have chosen you.'
'Now will you give him all your love, nor think the labour vain.
Nor hate me when I come to take this lent child back again?
I fancied that I heard him say, dear Lord Thy will be done.
For all the joys Thy child will 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 have known, forever grateful stay.
But should the Angels come for him much sooner than we've planned.
We'll brave the bitter grief that comes, and try to understand.