For All Parents
I'll lend you for a little time, a
child of mine, He said.
For you to love while she lives,
and mourn when she is 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 charms to gladden
you, and shall her stay be brief,
You'll have her lovely 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 whole 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 her all your love
nor think the labour vain,
Nor hate me when I come to call,
to take her back again?
I fancied that I heard them say,
Dear Lord, they will be done.
For all the joy Thy 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, will ever grateful stay.
But shall the angels call for her
much sooner than we'd planned,
We'll brave the bitter grief that
comes, and try to understand.
Ernest A. Guest
Read by Debby Kelly at the Memorial Service