Father Frederick Faber (1814-1863) wrote this devotional hymn for children to pray to their Guardian Angels. Now, when I researched a melody for Dear Angel, Ever at My Side, I was surprised and overwhelmed to find at least 12 different melodies for the same hymn! It seemed like no one hymn ever “stuck”. How to choose? I finally settled on one by Vincent Novello (1781-1861) because it seemed easier to sing than most others.
Click here to download and print the PDF on Musescore.
Dear Angel, Ever at My Side by erin.mcfarland.16
(Different title, same hymn tune. The organist gives a little introduction before the first verse.)
1. Dear Angel ever at my side
How loving must thou be,
To leave thy home in heaven to guide
A little child like me.
2. Thy beautiful and shining face
I see not, though so near;
The sweetness of thy soft low voice
I am too deaf to hear.
3. I cannot feel thee touch my hand
With pressure light and mild,
To check me, as my mother did
When I was but a child.
4. But I have felt thee in my thoughts
Fighting with sin for me:
And when my heart loves God, I know
The sweetness is from thee.
5. And when, dear Spirit! I kneel down
Morning and night to prayer
Something there is within my heart
Which tells me thou are there.
6. Yes! when I pray, thou prayest too
Thy prayer is all for me;
But when I sleep, thou sleepest not,
But watchest patiently.
7. But most of all I feel thee near,
When, from the good priest’s feet,
I go absolved, in fearless love,
Fresh toils and cares to meet.
8. Ah me! how lovely they must be
Whom God has glorified:
Yet one of them, O sweetest thought!
Is ever at my side.
9. And thou in life’s last hour wilt bring
A fresh supply of grace,
And afterwards wilt let me kiss
Thy beautiful bright face.
10. Then for thy sake, dear Angel! now
More humble will I be:
But I am weak, and when I fall,
Oh, weary not for me:
11. Oh, weary not, but love me still,
For Mary’s sake, thy Queen:
She never tired of me, though I
Her worst of sons have been.
12. She will reward thee with a smile;
Thou know’st what it is worth!
For Mary’s smiles each day convert
The hardest hearts on earth.
13. Then love me, love me, Angel dear!
And I will love thee more;
And help me when my soul is cast
Upon the eternal shore.
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