I'll 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 forty or fifty years,
Or even 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 his 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 teacher true.
And form the throngs that crowd life's lanes
I have selected you.
Now, will you give him all your love,
Nor think the labor vain,
Nor hate me when I come to call
To take him back again."
I fancied that I heard him 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
Forever grateful we'll stay.
But should the angels call for him Much sooner than
We'll brave the bitter grief that comes,
And try to understand."