I will lend you for awhile
a puppy, God said,
For you to love him while he lives
and to mourn him when he's gone.
Maybe for twelve and fourteen years,
or maybe for 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 always have his memories
as solace for your grief.
I cannot promise that he'll stay,
since all from earth return.
But there are lessons taught below
I want this pup to learn
I've looked the whole world over
in search of a teacher true,
and from the folk that crowd Life's land,
I now have chosen you.
Now, will you give him all your love,
nor think the labour vain,
nor hate me when I come to take
my puppy back again.
I fancied that I heard them say:
"Dear Lord Thy Will Be Done".
For all the joy this pup will bring
the risk of grief you'll run.
Will you shelter him with tenderness.
Will you love him while you may,
and for all the happiness you'll know
forever grateful stay.
But should I call him back
much sooner than you've planned,
please, brave the bitter grief that comes
and try to understand.
If by your love you've managed
my wishes to achieve,
take care of every moment
until he has to leave.