One hundred years ago in 1921 Myra Brooks Welch wrote the poem that tells of a battered old violin that is about to be sold as the last item at an auction for a very small amount. Before it was declared sold an old violinist steps out of the audience, tunes the instrument and begins to play a sweet melody demonstrating its beauty and true value. The auctioneer then with low quite voice begins the “new” bid and sells the violin for $3,000 instead of a mere $3. The poem ends by comparing this instrument touched by the hand of a master musician to the life of a sinner that is touched by the hand of THE MASTER.
After a century of time, this poem still is a reminder how Jesus, THE Master, touched us!
'Twas battered and scarred, And the auctioneer thought it hardly worth his while
To waste his time on the old violin, but he held it up with a smile.
"What am I bid, good people", he cried, "Who starts the bidding for me?"
"One dollar, one dollar, Do I hear two?" "Two dollars, who makes it three?"
"Three dollars once, three dollars twice, going for three,"
But, No, From the room far back a gray bearded 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 the angel sings.
The music ceased and the auctioneer with a voice that was quiet and low,
Said "What now am I bid for this old violin?" As he held it aloft with its' bow.
"One thousand, one thousand, Do I hear two?" "Two thousand, Who makes it three?"
"Three thousand once, three thousand twice, going and gone", said he.
The audience cheered, but some of them cried, "We just don't 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 All battered and bruised with hardship
Is auctioned cheap to a thoughtless crowd much like that old violin.
A mess of pottage, a glass of wine, A game and he travels on.
He is going once, he is going twice, he is 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 is wrought by the Touch of the Master's Hand.
- by Myra Brooks Welch © Public domain