Stow Lake, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco

The poets returned to Stow Lake. Mary and Percy Shelley. Lord Byron and Doctor Pollidori welcomed their friends as everyone gathered at the boathouse on Stow Lake. The ladies came prepared with cushions, picnic baskets, fans, shawls, parasols, and wine. The gentlemen arranged everything to perfection while the ladies arranged themselves to perfection.

We rowed past one another admiring each others' Romantic era attire (1798-1830). The gentlemen showed off their prowess with the oars. A few removed their coats; imaginative ladies could almost see muscles rippling under linen shirts as a gentleman leaned into the oars for a good pull. Ah, sigh. A few ladies' hearts did flutter.

We tied our boats together near the waterfall and shared our picnic luncheons. In studying the views around us, we found nature pleased every eye. Poetry readings from works of the Romantic era are delightful in this setting.

Open unto the fields, and to the sky;
All bright and glittering in the smokeless air.
Never did sun more beautifully steep
In his first splendour, valley, rock, or hill;
Ne'er saw I, never felt, a calm so deep!
The river glideth at his own sweet will

Composed Upon Westinster Bridge by William Wordsworth, September 3, 1802

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