A Helpful Poem

By: Edgar A. Guest

This poem is a dialogue between God and a child’s parents. It can be a source of comfort for parents grieving the loss of their child.

I’ll lend you for a little time, a child of mine, He said.

For you to love while he lives and mourn when he is dead.

It may be six or seven years, or 22 or 3.

But will you, til 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 the 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, nor think the labor vain.

Nor hate me when I come to call, to 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, will ever grateful stay.

But should the angels call for him much sooner than we planned.

We’ll brave the bitter grief that comes, and try to understand.

(The above material was taken from an Ann Landers column.)

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