from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- Lost or distressed in the night.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
Guessing it was some night-foundered tramp, he cussed the wanderer to hell; but cussing was only an ornament in his speech, for a tenderer creature really never lived, and he wouldn't have turned a stray cat from his door that fierce night, let alone a human.
In Lycidas he speaks of "the great vision of the guarded mount," with that preternatural weight of impression with which it would present itself suddenly to "the pilot of some small night-foundered skiff": and the lines in the Penseroso, describing "the wandering moon,"
In the first scene, after a kind of prologue (lines 1-92), the interest rises as we are introduced first to Comus and his rout, then to the Lady alone and "night-foundered," and finally to Comus and the Lady in company.
You may get night-foundered by the way, yet wi 'the comin' o 'light, theer's allus a chance to make up lost ground agin an' keep gwaine on. "