In Ghislain's Memory

I'll lend you, for a little while,
A child of mine, He said,
For you to love while he lives
And mourn while he is dead.

It may be six or seven years,
Or forty or fourteen,
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,
As 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
Not think the labor vain,
Nor hate me when I come to call
To take him home again?

I fancied that I heard them say,
"Dear Lord, thy will be done."
For all the joy this child shall bring,
The risk of grief we'll run.

We'll shower him with tenderness
And love him while we may,
And for the happiness we've known,
Forever grateful stay.

And should the angels call for him,
Much sooner than we planned,
We'll brave the bitter grief that comes
And try to understand.