"I'll lend you, for a little while, a bird 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 maybe twenty-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, as all from earth return,
But there are lessons taught down there I want this bird 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...not think this labor vain,
Nor hate me when I come to call, to take her back again."
I fancied that I heard them say, "Dear Lord, thy will be done.
For all the joy this bird shall bring, the risk of grief we'll run.
We'll shower her with tenderness and love her while we may,
And for the happiness we've known, forever grateful stay.
And should the angels call for her much sooner than we planned,
We'll brave the bitter grief that comes, and try to understand."