"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 folks," he cried,
"Who'll start the bidding for me?
A dollar, a dollar...now who'll make it 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 dollars --- and who'll make it three?
Three thousand once, three thousand twice
And going -- and gone," said he.
The people cheered, but some of them cried,
"We do not quite understand.
What changed its worth?" Swift came a reply:
"The touch of a master's hand."
And many a man with life out of tune,
And battered and torn 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's 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.