Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations. 1989.
Sophocles (c. 496406 B.C.)
Ignorant men Dont know what good they hold in their hands until Theyve flung it away.
SOPHOCLES, Ajax, trans. John Moore, The Complete Greek Tragedies, ed. David Grene and Richmond Lattimore, vol. 2, p. 250 (1959).
Since there have been numerous translations of this play by Sophocles, these wordsspoken by Tecmessavary. The translation by George Young, The Dramas of Sophocles, p. 102 (1888) reads, Men of perverse opinion do not know / The excellence of what is in their hands,/ Till some one dash it from them.