‘The Touch of the Master’s Hand’ — a poignant poem that teaches truth
The Touch of the Masters Hand, by Myra Brooks Welch, written in 1921
Twas battered and scarred, and the auctioneer
Thought it scarcely worth his while
To waste much time on the old violin,
But 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 back of the room 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 both pure and sweet,
As caroling angel sings.
The music ceased, and the auctioneer,
With a voice that was quiet and low,
Said; “What is my 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 said,
“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 is 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
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