Now, all the world is green and bright Outside the latticed pane; The fields are decked with gold and white, And Spring has come again. But though the world be fair without, With flow'rs and waving trees, 'Tis pleasanter to be about Where Nell's a-shelling peas.
Her eyes are blue as cloudless skies, And dimples deck her cheeks; Whilst soft lights loiter in her eyes Whene'er she smiles or speaks. So all the sunlit morning-tide I dally at mine ease, To loaf at slender Nelly's side When Nell's a-shelling peas.
This bard, who sits a-watching Nell, With fingers white and slim, Owns up that, as she breaks each shell, She also "breaks up" him; And could devoutly drop upon Submissive, bended knees To worship Nell with apron on - A saint a-shelling peas.
The tucked-up muslin sleeves disclose Her round arms white and bare - 'Tis only "shelling peas" that shows Those dainty dimples there. Old earth owns many sights to see That captivate and please; - The most bewitching sight for me Is Nell a-shelling peas.
First published in The Bulletin, 2 August 1902.