So here I come,
Unwilling to the unwilling well I wot:
For no one loves the bearer of bad tidings.

[πάρειμι δ᾽ ἄκων οὐχ ἑκοῦσιν, οἶδ᾽ ὅτι:
στέργει γὰρ οὐδεὶς ἄγγελον κακῶν ἐπῶν.]

Sophocles (496-406 BC) Greek tragic playwright
Antigone, ll. 276-277 [Guard] (441 BC) [tr. Donaldson (1848)]

Original Greek. Alt. trans:

So here I am unwilling and withal
Unwelcome; no man cares to hear ill news.
[tr. Storr (1859)]

So here I stand, as unwelcome to you as I am unwilling, I well know. For no man delights in the bearer of bad news.
[tr. Jebb (1891)]

And I come
To pour my news, unwilling, into ears
Unwilling to receive it; for I know
None ever loved the messenger of ill.
[tr. Werner (1892)]

So here I am,
No happier to be here than you are to have me:
Nobody likes the man who brings bad news.
[tr. Fitts/Fitzgerald (1939)]

So here I am,
As much against my will as yours, I’m sure;
A bringer of bad news expects no welcome.
[tr. Watling (1947), ll. 229ff]

And therefore I am come
Unwilling and, for certain, most unwelcome:
Nobody loves the bringer of bad news.
[tr. Kitto (1962)]

I didn't want to come. And you sure didn't want to see me:
No one loves the man who brings bad news.
[tr. Woodruff (2001)]

That’s why I’m now here,
not of my own free will or by your choice.
I know that -- for no one likes a messenger
who comes bearing unwelcome news with him.
[tr. Johnston (2005), ll. 318 ff]

So here I am unwilling,
quite sure you people hardly want to see me.
Nobody likes the bearer of bad news.
[tr. Wyckoff]

So here I am, unwilling -- I know well -- among the unwilling, for no one cherishes the messenger of evil words.
[tr. Thomas]

I do not want to be here. Those here do not want me,
I know. Nobody loves the messenger of bad news.
[tr. Tyrell/Bennett]

Added on 21-Jul-08 | Last updated 21-Nov-20
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