From Smetana’s commentary on of the symphonic poems The Moldau and Šárka:
"The composition describes the course of the Vltava (Moldau), starting from the two small springs, the Cold and Warm Vltava, to the unification of both streams into a single current, the course of the Vltava through woods and meadows, through landscapes where a farmer's wedding is celebrated, the round dance of the mermaids in the night's moonshine: on the nearby rocks loom proud castles, palaces and ruins aloft. The Vltava swirls into the St John's Rapids; then it widens and flows toward Prague, past the Vyšehrad, and then majestically vanishes into the distance, ending at the Elbe.
This composition does not refer to the so-named natural landscape, but rather to the legend of a girl named Šárka. It begins with a portrayal of the enraged girl swearing vengeance on the whole male race for the infidelity of her lover. From afar is heard the arrival of armed men led by Ctirad who has come to punish Šárka and her rebel maidens. In the distance Ctirad hears the feigned cries of a girl (Šárka) bound to a tree. On seeing her he is overcome by her beauty and so inflamed with love that he is moved to free her. By means of a previously prepared potion, she intoxicates him and his men who finally fall asleep. As she blows her horn in a pre-arranged signal, the rebel maidens, hidden by nearby rocks, rush to the spot and commit the bloody deed. The horror of general slaughter and the passion and fury of Šárka’s revenge form the end of the composition."