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“A Child of Mine” by Edger Albert Guest

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I will lend you, for a little time,
A child of mine, He said.
For you to love the while she lives,
And mourn for when she’s 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 should 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 wide world over,
In 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 labor vain.
Nor hate me when I come
To take her home again?

I fancied that I heard them say,
‘Dear Lord, Thy will be done!’
For all the joys 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,
Forever grateful stay.
But should the angels call for her,
Much sooner than we’ve planned.
We’ll brave the bitter grief that comes,
And try to understand.
[…and try to understand…]

“A Child of Mine” adapted from Edger Albert Guest
who wrote the original version about a male child, circa 1930

Something about this poem really spoke to my heart today. I read it about 5 times in a row and couldn’t stop thinking about it for an hour. I’m, honestly, very surprised I’ve never heard this before {or, at least, I don’t remember hearing it}.

I don’t know your religious beliefs – nor do I really care. Whatever your higher power may or may not be, I still believe there is something absolutely beautifully true and inspiring about these words.

Does poetry bring you comfort in your grief? Share your favorites with us!


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