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In Memory

I'll lend you for a little while,
My grandest cat, said God.

For you to love while she's alive,
And mourn for when she's not.

It may be one or twenty years,
Or days or months, you see.
But will you, till I take 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 those treasured memories,
As solace for your grief.
I cannot promise she will stay,
Since all from earth return.

But there are lessons taught on earth
I want this cat to learn.
I've looked the wide world over
In my search for teachers true.

And from the throngs that crowd life's lanes,
With trust, I have selected you.

Now will you give her all your love?
Nor think the labour vain,
Nor hate me when I come
To take her back again?

I know you'll give her tenderness
And love will bloom each day,
And for the happiness you've known,
You will forever-grateful stay.

But should I come and call for her
Much sooner than you'd planned,
Please brave the bitter grief that comes,
And try to understand.