Far over on the eastern bounds I see
As ’twere a mist blown up from other lands;
While far above some bird’s sweet lay commands,
In thrilling cadences, rapt heed from me.
The cock’s shrill cry the lie-’bed’s ire provokes;
The ploughman baits the sharers of his toil;
The angler, wet and spent, surveys his spoil;
The chimney at the mill now sooty smokes.
The lab’ring teamster, lagging with the night,
Once more his sturdy team to toiling yokes,
And, early joyous, passes early jokes;
Some flocks of ibis swiftly pass in flight.
A golden haze steals silent o’er the corn;
God whispers to us “Peace” when breaks the morn.
William Blocksidge, Songs o’ the South, London: Watts, 1908, p. 47
bound = boundary or limit, especially of an area (usually used as a plural, “bounds”: boundaries, limits); the boundary of a country, province, state, territory, field, estate; a line or area which is a boundary or forms a boundary; something which confines, limits, or restrains (e.g. the bounds of morality)
ire = anger
lay = song, tune; ballad (may also refer to ballads or narrative poems, as sung by medieval minstrels or bards)
lie-’bed = a contraction of “lie-abed”: someone who lies in bed past the usual time of getting up, someone who lies in bed until late, a late riser
morn = morning
o’er = (archaic) over (pronounced the same as “oar”, “or”, and “ore”)
rapt = enraptured, highly charged with joyful emotion; deeply engrossed, extremely absorbed, giving full attention, showing complete involvement; (Australian slang) really excited, very happy, extremely pleased
’twere = (archaic) a contraction of “it were”