Oh! Now I think that it's the hands that will come for you at night, not the burdens. The order of those nouns tripped me up. It might be worth playing around with ways to flip-flop them--something like
Do not confide your burdens to the grasp
of his light hands. Or else they'll come for you....
The singular/plural distinction is famously suspended with Eloyhim and the multi-winged cherubim and seraphim, but I think the plural here is for the hands, not the angel.
What about italics for the direct discourse? (I wondered about italics for the end of "The Elopement," too, when the still, small voice of God--as I imagine it to be--is speaking to the runaway at the center of her nested layers of privacy--coach, hood, hair.)
I'm struggling to picture the angel doing things "with just the tilt of his brow." Could Rilke mean that the Angel is making stuff happen with just the nod of his head?
Last edited by Julie Steiner; 08-24-2019 at 01:27 AM.