by Myra Brooks Welch
‘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 bid, good folk?” he cried.
“Who’ll start the bidding for me?
A dollar, a dollar … now 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 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?”
As he held it up with the bow.
“A thousand dollars … and who’ll make it two?
Two…two thousand, and who’ll make it three?
Three thousand once and three thousand twice …
Three thousand and gone!” said he.
The people cheered, but some exclaimed
“We do not quite understand …
What changed it’s worth?” and the answer came:
” ‘Twas the touch of the master’s hand.”
And many a man with soul out of tune
And battered and scarred by sin
Is auctioned cheap by the thoughtless crowd
Just like the old violin.
But the Master comes, and the foolish crowd
Never can quite understand
The worth of a soul, and the change that is wrought
By the touch of the master’s hand.
O Master! I am the tuneless one
Lay, lay Thy hand on me,
Transform me now, put a song in my heart
Of melody, Lord, to Thee!