The Touch of the Master’s Hand, by Myra Brooks Welch
” ‘Twas batter and scarred, 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’, then ‘Two! Only 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 up the loose strings,
He played a melody pure and sweet
As sweet as an angel sings.
“The music ceased, and the auctioneer,
With a voice that was quiet and low,
Said, ‘What am I bid for the old violin?’
And 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 a 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.”