THE TOUCH OF THE MASTER’S HAND
by Myra Brooks Welch, 1926
“Twas battered and scared, and the auctioneer
Thought it scarcely worth his while
To waste much 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…now who’ll make it two—
Two dollars, and who’ll make it three?
“Three dollars once, three dollars twice,
Going for three?” …but no!
From the room far back a gray haired man
Came forward and picked up the bow,
Then wiping the dust from the old violin
And tightening the loose strings,
He played a melody pure and sweet,
As a caroling angel sings.
The music ceased and the auctioneer
With a voice that was quite and low
Said. “What am I bidden for the old violin?”
And he held it up with the bow.
“A thousand dollars—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 a master’s hand.”
And many a man with life out of tune,
And battered and torn with sin,
Is auctioned cheap to a 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.