A CHILD ON LOAN

I’ll lend you for a little time,
A child of mine God said;
 For you to love her 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 charm to gladden you,
And should her stay be brief,
You'll have her wonderful memories,
As solace for your 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 the wide world over,
 In search of teachers true,
And from the throng that crowd life's lane,
 I have selected you,

Now will you give her all your love,
Not think the labour vain,
 Nor hate me when I come to call,
 To take her back again.

I fancied that 1 heard them say,
 Dear lord thy will be done,
For all the joy the 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.

            Anon.

Sketching ‑ in memory of 'Melanie'
Drawn by her mother Judith Goos
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