Written at Alfoxden, where I read Hearne's Journey with deep
interest. It was composed for the volume of Lyrical Ballads.
When a Northern Indian, from sickness, is unable to continue his
journey with his companions, he is left behind, covered over with
deer-skins, and is supplied with water, food, and fuel, if the
situation of the place will afford it. He is informed of the track
which his companions intend to pursue, and if he be unable to
follow, or overtake them, he perishes alone in the desert; unless
he should have the good fortune to fall in with some other tribes
of Indians. The females are equally, or still more, exposed to the
same fate. See that very interesting work HEARNE'S "Journey from
Hudson's Bay to the Northern Ocean." In the high northern
latitudes, as the same writer informs us, when the northern lights
vary their position in the air, they make a rustling and a
crackling noise, as alluded to in the following poem.