Comes the wind claw-like out of the dark,
Clawing her coat, its “Mine-it-is” mark;
Tears at her face—it’s thirty below,
Only she walking, on ice and snow.
Only her moving in this north land;
Only her steps and bold swinging hand;
Only her, leaning, fighting to work;
Landlord said “Pay,” and she will not shirk.
Nine, the blocks east, then twenty more south;
Numb though her mouth, she won’t turn about.
Numb are her hands—she beats them with blows;
Numb are her toes—she stomps as she goes.
Wind’s leaping stronger, clutching, it blasts;
Cares for no wishes that cry, “Be past!”
Ten more blocks southward—longest of ten;
Hers to flick “OPEN” to goods-seeking men.
IF men are coming, IF someone will.
Will there be dollars filling the till?
Cold though they be, dollars will pay
She that’s half-frozen this freezing day.
Crack! What is that? A window, a break!
Fiend grabbing something his not to take!
Nancy runs after, tackles him down!
He hits his head, unconscious and bound!
Siren’s a-wailing; someone rang in;
Wind might be roaring, “Boldness can win!”
Up, now, our Nancy beams to her store,
Letting sweet justice sweep the road floor!
Yes, men are coming;—proudly they’ve heard
How “Nancy tackled that sneak-thief bird”.
Business is flowing, dollars fill till;
This is the way when there is a will!