Ms. Henley knows too how life-changing revelations arrive in grotesque little packages, as when Lenny admits over the phone her traumatizing inability to have babies and forthwith counters her swain's answer with a slight shock and vast elation: "They're not all little snot- nosed pigs!
-- John Simon, ""Living Beings, Cardboard Symbols", New York Magazine
A nymph and a swain to Apollo once prayed/ The swain had been jilted, the nymph been betrayed/ They came for to try if his oracle knew/ E're a nymph that was chaste, or a swain that was true.
-- Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard's almanack : being the choicest morsels of wisdom written during the years of the Almanack's publication
Swain evolves from swein, Old English for "servant".