Thomas Cole prepared detailed explanatory texts for each painting in this four-part series. The following are Cole's own words about this painting: A stream is seen issuing from a deep cavern, in the side of a craggy and precipitous mountain, whose summit is hidden in clouds. From out the cave glides a Boat, whose golden prow and sides are sculptured into figures of the Hours: steered by an Angelic Form, and laden with buds and flowers, it bears a laughing Infant, the Voyager whose varied course the artist has attempted to delineate. On either hand the banks of the stream are clothed in luxuriant herbage and flowers. The rising sun bathes the mountains and the flowery banks in rosy light.
As the traveler approaches his goal, the ever-more-turbulent stream deviates from its course and relentlessly carries him toward the next picture in the series, through the trials and tribulations of middle age, where nature's fury, evil demons, and self-doubt will threaten his very existence. Trouble is characteristic of the period of Manhood. Only prayer, Cole suggests, can save the voyager from a dark and tragic fate.
This image comes in a dark ornate wood frame and measures 9"x12".