Dear Angel ever at my side,
How loving must thou be,
To leave thy home in heaven to guard
A guilty wretch like me.
Thy beautiful and shining face
I see not, though so near;
The sweetness of thy soft low voice
I am too deaf to hear.
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.
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.
And when dear Spirit, I kneel down
Morning and night to prayer,
Something there is within my heart
Which 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 patiently.
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.
And thou in life’s last hour wilt bring,
A fresh supply of grace,
And afterwards wilt let me kiss
Thy beautiful bright face.
Ah me, how lovely they must be
Whom God has glorified;
Yet one of them, O sweetest thought!
Is ever at my side.
Then, for thy sake dear Angel, now
More humble will I be:
But I am weak, and when I fall,
Oh weary not of me:
O 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.
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.
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.
~ Father Frederick William Faber (1814-1863) ~