My father was a lover of poetry and as I grew up he often would teach me some.
Recently I stumbled on a poem he had read years ago to me whilst we sat in the construction site of his University in Fiji.
The poem is called A Child Of Mine. This famous poem by Edgar Albert Guest (1881-1959) has been bringing comfort to grief-stricken parents for years. Guest himself suffered the loss of two of his children. A Child of Mine is a popular poem to read at funerals of children. To lose a child is one of life’s most awful experiences. Focusing on the gift of your few years together can bring a measure of comfort.
I hope you enjoy reading it and understand the true meaning behind it.
A Child Of Mine
I will lend you, for a little time,
A child of mine, He said.
For you to love the while he lives,
And mourn for when he’s 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 should 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 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 labour vain.
Nor hate me when I come
To take him 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 him with tenderness,
We’ll love him while we may,
And for the happiness we’ve known,
Forever grateful stay.
But should the angels call for him,
Much sooner than we’ve planned.
We’ll brave the bitter grief that comes,
And try to understand.