Twas battered and scarred, and the auctioneer
Thought it scarcely worth his while
To waste his time on the old violin,
But he held it up with a smile.
"What am I bid, good friends?" he cried.
"Who'll start the bidding for me?
One dollar! Only one? And who'll make it two?
Two dollars, once. And three!
Three dollars, once. And three dollars, twice.
And going , and going , " but no...
From the back of the room a gray-haired man
Came forward and picked up the bow.
And wiping the dust from the old violin,
And tightening the loose strings,
He played a melody pure and sweet
As caroling angels sing.
The music ceased, and the auctioneer
With a voice that was quiet and low,
Said, "What am I bid for the old violin?"
As he held it up with the bow.
"One thousand dollars, and who'll make it two?
Two thousand,dollars, and three !
Three thousand, once. And three thousand, twice.
And going, and going, and gone!" said he.
The people cheered, but some of them cried,
"We don't quite understand
What changed it's worth." Swift came the reply,
" 'Twas the touch of the Master's hand."
And many a man with life out of tune
And battered and scarred with sin,
Is auctioned cheep to the thoughtless crowd
Much like this old violin.
A mess of pottage, a glass of wine.
A game, and he travels on.
He's going once, and going twice.
And going, and almost gone.
But the Master comes, and the thoughtless crowd
Never can quite understand
The worth of a soul, and the change that is wrought,
By the touch of the Master's hand.
--Myra Brooks Welch, 1936