“A Child of Mine”

“A Child of Mine”
By Edgar A. Guest

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 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 shall 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 shall the angels call for him
much sooner than we planned,
We`ll brave the bitter grief that comes,
and try to understand.

The above poem “A Child of Mine” (also has been titled “To All Parents” and “God’s Lent Child”) is one of 974 poems written by Edgar Albert Guest. It was first published in a newspaper in about 1930. Regarding this poem, Ann Landers stated (March 14, 1992): “It …is truly one of the most comforting bits of philosophy that I`ve ever seen.”