Posted By:Vicki Matthews
Subject:Robert Lamborn-Sarah Swayne Love Story
Post Date:March 26, 2008 at 19:47:09
Message URL:
Forum:Lamborn Family Genealogy Forum
Forum URL:

The family legend has it that Sarah's parents took her off to the "new world" in early 1700's (1711?) and that Robert begged his parents to allow him to go look for her, which they did. Sarah was only about 11 and he 13 when the Swaynes (Swains) left. Robert arrived a few years later and really did find her. They waited until they were in their 20's to wed (1722). Meanwhile, here is an old poem written by one of the family to describe the "famous" family story:

Edward Swayne (1853-1929), a descendant of Sarah Swayne and Robert Lamborn, read this poem at the Centennial Celebration at Kennett Meeting House Sep. 12, 1914. Edward had a keen interest in his own family history, as well as that of his native environs. He often combined this interest with his love of writing poetry, composing tributes for special events, such as this poem about his ancestors. While part tradition and part imagination, it tells of the romance of Sarah Swayne and her beau, Robert, who followed her from their English birthplace.


'Mid the Berkshire hills of England, full two hundred years ago,
Robert Lamborn, young and comely, paced unrestful to and fro.
Downward from melodious spirals came the lark's unheeded tale;
As the evening shadows lengthened sang unheard the nightingale.
Nothing touched his troubled spirit, nothing soothed his fierce unrest,
Like the dash of ocean billows and the beckoning of the West.
Morning came, and coming, found him on a westward ship afloat,
And the rhythmic roar of breakers struck his fundamental note.
Thenceforth a diviner music rolled in splendor from his tongue;
Walked he with the dauntless courage of the undefeated young.
From each night with cool baptism rose he chastened, newly born;
In his heart the perfect woman, at his back the sun of morn.
Every night the lovely vision time, he felt, could but defer;
Every day a new horizon filled with rosy thoughts of her.
So each day his faith upheld him till the voyage was passed, and then
Landed he, forlorn and friendless, in the city loved of Penn.

Here amid smooth-shaven Quakers, he had loved in other days,
Strode wild hunters, supple Indians, with strange, unfamiliar ways.
Wandering thus in aimless fashion, clothing soiled and money scant,
Saw he a familiar figure, Francis Swayne, the emigrant.
Very tall and straight was Francis, very mild of eye and tongue;
Iron of mouth and jaw, but always very gracious to the young.
Norse of blood and frame, but haply the sweet truths of Fox's page
Cooled hot blood of the Vikings, calmed the "wild Berserker rage."
So his turbulent Norse spirit spent itself in ways of peace;
On scythe and fork and cradle, his strong nature found release.
Many tales are still remembered and retold in time of need,
Of his skill and his endurance, of his prowess and his speed.
When the young men would foregather in the Springtime or the Fall,
For their wrestling,jumping,running,Francis would surpass them all.
And then, setting up a rawhide that just touched his flaxen hair,
Take a few quick steps and clear it, with an inch or two to spare.
When the supple, sinewy Indians of the Lenni-Lenape
Held their sports, a guest was Francis, and a guest of high degree.
Every year new runners gathered, but the sports would always end
With a badly beaten Indian and a new admiring friend.

So when Robert met with Francis, quickly came these words of cheer
(As old tradition gives them),"Well, well, Bob,what brought thee here?"
Simple were the words and friendly, yet an energy sublime
Of occasion has preserved them through two hundred years of time.
Did the old man guess his secret? Who can say? but Robert's eye
Fell, he quickly thought within him, 'tis the time to do or die.

So he told the simple story, how without a thought of gain,
Some for love of Francis, Jr., more for love of Sarah Swayne,
He had left his English kinsmen and his ancient English home,
To pursue a young man's fancy o'er three thousand miles of foam.
Francis listened without comment, very kindly was his eye,
As he said, "Come breakfast with me, Robert, we will ride and tie."
So they rode and tied that morn fresh with spring and bright with
Strung with bird notes from each thicket through the happy, happy
Never birds sang so for Robert, never thrush or nightingale,
In the hedges of old England told him half so sweet a tale
As the little brown song sparrow, as the thrasher in the hedge,
As the cardinal afar off, as the phoebe by the hedge;
As the bob white on the hilltop whistling like a happy boy,
So distinct and clear and certain, Robert answered him for joy.
Near the streams and in the shadows, singing o'er and o'er again,
Loud, reverberant, compelling, called the Carolina wren;
In the Brandywine's deep meadows, rich with cowslips blue and pink,
As if one bird were a dozen, bubbled o'er the bobolink.
Overhead in semicircles, music sweet as ever heard,
Came the buoyant, fine, ecstatic flight song of the overbird.
As the evening shadows lengthened and the pathway grew more dim,
Through the tranquil aisles the wood thrush sang serene his sylvan
When reaching home, said Francis,"Robert,thou mayst briefly stay
Underneath these spreading branches; I will go prepare the way."
"Sarah, I have left a package under yonder tree," he said;
"Will thee fetch it?" "Gladly, father, I will fetch it," said the
Out into the twilight tripping, met she there a figure tall,
The first startled word was Robert! The next---Sarah! That was
Did she fetch the package? Rather, without trouble, all the men
To her own admiring father thought her very fetching then.
As she stepped into the firelight, linked with Robert arm in arm,
Scarce a savage in the forest would have done the maiden harm.
White and red and moist she stood there, blue eyes, golden hair a
Legacies of Danish forebears from the town of Elsinore,
And beneath the mouth's rich ripeness,full,indeed,but not too much,
The fair chin was cleft divinely, nature's last artistic touch.
If the red flamed more than common 'twas no signal of distress;
Doomed were they to double trouble and to double happiness.
If beyond the last horizon there is sweeter love than this,
Then shall Heaven indeed be Heaven, bliss indeed be perfect bliss.