To His Household Gods
Rise, household gods, and let us go;
But whither I myself not know.
First, let us dwell on rudest seas;
Next, with severest savages;
Last, let us make our best abode
Where human foot as yet ne'er trod:
Search worlds of ice, and rather there
Dwell than in loathed Devonshire.
Robert Herrick, Hesperides (1648).
In 1647, Herrick was removed from his post in Dean Prior due to his alleged royalist sympathies. One would think that he was well rid of the place. However, after the Restoration, Herrick petitioned King Charles II to be reappointed to his vicarage. The petition was granted, and Herrick returned to Dean Prior in 1660. He died there fourteen years later.
Perhaps Devon was Herrick's Proper Place after all. Before he was removed from his post in 1647, he wrote the following poem.
Discontents in Devon
More discontents I never had
Since I was born, than here;
Where I have been, and still am sad,
In this dull Devonshire;
Yet justly too I must confess,
I ne'er invented such
Ennobled numbers for the press
Than where I loathed so much.
Ibid. "Ennobled numbers" is an allusion to Noble Numbers, Herrick's collection of religious poems that was published, together with Hesperides, in 1648.
The following poem may best reflect Herrick's feelings about Dean Prior and Devon, even though they are not mentioned in the poem.
The Coming of Good Luck
So good luck came, and on my roof did light,
Like noiseless snow, or as the dew of night:
Not all at once, but gently, as the trees
Are by the sunbeams tickled by degrees.