I read this in a magazine years ago right after my beloved jumper, Kaiser Fritz, died of cancer. I love this poem! It makes me cry every time I read it. Get out your Kleenex first though!
I'll lend you for a little time a horse of mine, He said.
For you to love while he lives , and mourn for when he is 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 will bring his charms to gladden you, and shall 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 horse to learn.
I've searched the wide world over in my search for a teacher true.
And from the throngs that crowd life's lanes, I have selected you.
Now will you give him all of your love, nor think the labor vain?
Nor hate me when I come to call, to take him back again?
I fancied that I heard you say, Dear Lord, they will be done,
For all the joys this horse will bring, the risk of grief I'll run!
I'll shelter him with tenderness, I'll love him while I may,
And for the happiness I've known, I will forever grateful stay.
But shall the angels call for him much sooner than I planned,
I'll brave the bitter grief that comes, and try to understand.