‘Twas battered and scarred, and the 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 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 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 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,” 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’s wrought
By the touch of the Master’s hand.

~Myra Brooks Welch


“The Touch of the Master’s Hand, also sometimes called The Old Violin, is a Christian poem written by Myra Brooks Welch. Written in 1921, it tells of a battered old violin that is about to be sold at auction for a pittance, until a violinist steps out of the audience and plays the instrument, demonstrating its beauty and true value.”–



4 thoughts on “The Touch of the Master’s Hand by Myra Brooks Welch

  • August 30, 2015 at 3:24 pm

    Morning Michelle :)
    Do you remember when I wrote this…think it was when we first met 2008?
    Interesting…Love you my Friend thanks for sharing this OOOO

    Michael :)

    The Violin
    A tree stands in the forest, once full of life and reason to live, now left to wither and die.
    A carpenter walks down a wooded path; in his heart a burning desire, the likes of which he has never felt before.
    A musician awakes to a new day; a new melody is dancing inside his head.
    A student walks home from school down cast and alone there is no light in her soul no hope that lies ahead, for the entire world like a rose that has been bound in thorns.
    The carpenter stops to rest and notices the old tree in its lifeless state. By sudden revelation he removes his axe from his worn leather pack and hacks off a limb and hurries home. Without hesitation he embarks on a new path to create” The Violin”.
    The days go by, he fashions he sands until a most beautiful creation lies in his knurled old hands. Tears flow from his eyes as he pulls on the bow and a river of music flows from the strands.
    A knock on the door, a greeting, “come in”.
    The musician enters and sits, he grins as the music is played and evening begins. He takes the violin and plays a tune about joy then sorrow and then a melody about hope in God and the promise of a new tomorrow.
    In the home of the student up in her room her window open the music drifts in. Touched by the music like an angel from above, her tears begin to flow as she offers her pleads to a God she cannot see but can sense he is there. Why did you take him? Answer me please! Show me a sign that my father is thine.

    From Heaven above true love reaches down embracing his child who weeps alone, puts his hand on her shoulder and caresses her heart bringing light and healing where once it was dark.
    A knock on the door, a greeting, “come in”.

    The student enters and sits, with light in her eyes, a smile on her face, and a new song in her heart, she begins to sing. The musician’s melody now complete plays the violin like never before. The carpenter observing from his bench, greatly pleased, now working on another creation, his burning desire now reality, gathers his axe along with his leather pack and heads off to where it all began. The tree!

    • September 1, 2015 at 2:27 pm

      Very very beautiful. Thank you for sharing, Mike.

  • August 30, 2015 at 12:49 pm

    Even an antique object can still be of value.

    • August 30, 2015 at 1:52 pm

      Hi Danica, so true. It sure is of value. :)

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