The Touch of the Master’s Hand
T’was battered and scarred, and the auctioneer
thought it hardly worth his while
To waste his time on the old violin,
but he held it up with a smile.
“What am I bidden, good folks”, he cried,
“Who’ll start the bidding for me?”
A dollar, a dollar, then two! Only two?
Two dollars, and who’ll make it three?
Three dollars, once;, three dollars, twice;
Going for three . . .”
From the room far back, a grey-haired man
Came forward and picked up the bow;
Then, wiping the dust from the old violin,
And tightening up the strings,
He played a melody pure and sweet
As a caroling angel sings.
The music ceased, and the auctioneer,
With a voice that was quiet and low, said:
“What now am I bid for this old violin?”
As he held it up with the bow.
“A thousand dollars, and who’ll make it two?”
“Two thousand! And who’ll make it three?”
“Three thousand, once, three thousand, twice;
And going and gone”, said he.
The people cheered, but some of them cried,
“We do not quite understand, what changed its worth?”
Swift came the reply;
“The Touch of the Master’s Hand.”
And many a man with life out of tune
And battered and scarred with sin,
Is auctioned cheap to the thoughtless crowd
Much like the old violin
A mess of pottage, a glass of wine;
A game – and he travels on.
He’s going once, and going ‘twice,
He’s ‘going and almost gone’.
But the Master comes and the foolish crowd
Never can quite understand
The worth of a soul and the change that’s wrought
By The Touch of the Master’s Hand.
Myra Brooks Welch (1877 – 1959)