The Touch of the Master’s Hand By Myra Brooks Welch

‘Twas battered and scarred, and the auctioneer

Thought it sacredly worth his while
To waste much time on the old violin,
But held it up with a smile:
“What am I bidden, good folks,” 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?
 
Three dollars, once; three dollars, twice;
Going for three…..” But no,
From the back of the room, a gray-haired man
Came forward and picked up the bow;
Then, wiping the dust from the old violin,
And tightening the loose string
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 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 going,” said he.
The people cheered, but some of them cried,
We do not quite 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,
And battered and scarred with sin,
Is auctioned cheap to the 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 is wrought
By the touch of the Master’s hand.


1878-1950. Myra Welch was from the United States.
Probably best known for the poem “The Master’s Hand” written in 1921, Myra Brooks Welch was born in the late 19th Century in America. Thanks to one of our Oldpoetry readers we believe she was born in Illinois 1878, daughter of John Brooks,and she married Otis Welch.
She was a resident of La Verne, California. As a youngster her special joy was playing the organ but this was denied her in later life as she suffered badly from arthritis and spent much of her time in a wheelchair. She wrote with an inverted pencil in each of her gnarled hands and would pick out the words on a type writer. She said that the joy of her writing outweighed the pain of her efforts. She was known as “The poet with the singing soul”
**** The death date is approximate. ****
 
 

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