The Touch of the Master's Hand

Myra Brooks Welch, 1926

'Twas battered 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 bidden 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 quiet 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 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 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.





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