For this visit to the realm of the ideal place, a place that always comes up against the "wherever you go, there you are" problem, I wish to consider a poem written by Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex (1565-1601). Caught up in the wars and court intrigues of Elizabethan times, Devereux had ample reason to long for a simpler, less dangerous life and land.
Happy were he could finish forth his fate
In some unhaunted desert, most obscure
From all societies, from love and hate
Of worldly folk; then might he sleep secure;
Then wake again, and give God ever praise,
Content with hips and haws and bramble-berry;
In contemplation spending all his days,
And change of holy thoughts to make him merry;
Where, when he dies, his tomb may be a bush,
Where harmless robin dwells with gentle thrush.
"Some unhaunted desert": that phrase alone is worth a lifetime of writing, as far as I am concerned. (But perhaps I am easily pleased -- "or else I'm getting soft," to quote Bob Dylan.)
Alas, Devereux's wish was not to be fulfilled: he was beheaded on February 25, 1601, for his alleged involvement in a plot against Elizabeth. His fate certainly adds poignancy to the poem, especially to: "then might he sleep secure."