1 Dear Angel, ever at my side,
How loving Thou must be
To leave Thy home in heav’n to guide
A little child like me!
Thy beautiful and shining face
I see not, tho’ so near;
The sweetness of Thy soft, low voice
Too deaf am I to hear.
Close by my side, close by my side,
Dear Angel, walk today;
Close by Thy side, close by Thy side I’d follow all the way.
2 I cannot feel Thee touch my hand
With pressure light and mild,
To cheek me as my mother doth
Her little wayward child;
But I can feel Thee in my tho’ts
Striving with sin for me,
And when my heart loves God I know
The sweetness comes from Thee. [Refrain]
3 And when beside my couch I kneel!
At morn and night for prayer,
There’s something speaks within my heart
And tells me Thou art there.
Yes, when I pray Thou prayest too,
Thy prayer is all for me;
But when I sleep Thou sleepest not,
But watchest lovingly [Refrain]
Source: Songs of Summerland #217
Dear Angel! ever at my side. F. W. Faber. [The Guardian Angel.] Appeared in his Jesus and Mary, &c, 1849, and his Hymns, 1862, in 13 stanzas of 4 lines. It is in use in an abbreviated form in various Roman Catholic hymnals for Schools and Missions. In some collections stanzas i.-vi., somewhat altered, and with the addition of a doxology, are given as: "Dear Jesus, ever at Thy side." It is in the Plymouth Collection, 1855, and other American hymnbooks, in addition to the New Congregational Hymn Book, 1859, and other English hymnals. In the Methodist S. Scholars' Hymn Book, 1870, the opening line is "Bless’d Jesus, ever at my side;" whilst in one or two collections it is again changed to “Dear Saviour, ever at my side." This last is almost confined to America. The object of these changes is to adapt a Roman Catholic hymn for Protestant use by substituting our Blessed Lord for "the Guardian Angel.”
--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)
Dear Angel! ever at my side , p. 283, ii. This is in Faber's St. Wilfrid's Hymns, 1849, p. 25, and entitled, "To my Guardian Angel. For the School Children."
--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology, New Supplement (1907)