’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 folk? ” 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?
“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 loosened 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, “Now what am I 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, ” cried he.
The people cheered, but some of them cried,
“We do not understand.
“What changed its worth? ” Quick came the reply,
“The touch of the Master’s hand.”
And many a man with life out of tune,
And battered and scarred 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 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.
By Myra Brooks