Author: Robert Louis Stevenson


THERE fell a war in a woody place,
Lay far across the sea,
A war of the march in the mirk midnight
And the shot from behind the tree,
The shaven head and the painted face,
The silent foot in the wood,
In a land of a strange, outlandish tongue
That was hard to be understood.

It fell about the gloaming
The general stood with his staff,
He stood and he looked east and west
With little mind to laugh.
"Far have I been and much have I seen,
And kent both gain and loss,
But here we have woods on every hand
And a kittle water to cross.
Far have I been and much have I seen,
But never the beat of this;
And there’s one must go down to that waterside
To see how deep it is."

It fell in the dusk of the night
When unco things betide,
The skilly captain, the Cameron,
Went down to that waterside.
Canny and soft the captain went;
And a man of the woody land,
With the shaven head and the painted face,
Went down at his right hand.
It fell in the quiet night,
There was never a sound to ken;
But all of the woods to the right and the left
Lay filled with the painted men.

"Far have I been and much have I seen,
Both as a man and boy,
But never have I set forth a foot
On so perilous an employ."
It fell in the dusk of the night
When unco things betide,
That he was aware of a captain-man
Drew near to the waterside.
He was aware of his coming
Down in the gloaming alone;
And he looked in the face of the man
And lo! the face was his own.
"This is my weird," he said,
"And now I ken the worst;
For many shall fall the morn,
But I shall fall with the first.
O, you of the outland tongue,
You of the painted face,
This is the place of my death;
Can you tell me the name of the place?"
"Since the Frenchmen have been here
They have called it Sault-Marie;
But that is a name for priests,
And not for you and me.
It went by another word,"
Quoth he of the shaven head:
"It was called Ticonderoga
In the days of the great dead."

And it fell on the morrow’s morning,
In the fiercest of the fight,
That the Cameron bit the dust
As he foretold at night;
And far from the hills of heather
Far from the isles of the sea,
He sleeps in the place of the name
As it was doomed to be.


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Chicago: Robert Louis Stevenson, "III. The Place of the Name," Ballads, ed. Sutherland, Alexander, 1853-1902 and trans. Seaton, R. C. in Ballads (New York: George E. Wood, ""Death-bed"" edition, 1892), Original Sources, accessed July 24, 2024,

MLA: Stevenson, Robert Louis. "III. The Place of the Name." Ballads, edited by Sutherland, Alexander, 1853-1902, and translated by Seaton, R. C., in Ballads, New York, George E. Wood, ""Death-bed"" edition, 1892, Original Sources. 24 Jul. 2024.

Harvard: Stevenson, RL, 'III. The Place of the Name' in Ballads, ed. and trans. . cited in ""Death-bed"" edition, 1892, Ballads, George E. Wood, New York. Original Sources, retrieved 24 July 2024, from