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‘Twas battered and scarred, and the old auctioneer
Thought it scarcely 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 bidden 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 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 loose 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, "What am I bidden for the old violin?"
And he held it up with the bow.
"A thousand...And who'll make it two?"
"Two thousand...who'll make it three?"
"Three thousand, once.... Three thousand, twice...
And going...going...gone," 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 the masters hand!"

Many a man with life out of tune,
Battered and scarred by the sun...
Is auctioned cheap to the thoughtless crowd
A game...and he travels on.
He is "Going, once...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."

by Myra Brooks Welch