(I’m calling March, “March Memories,” in which I plan, Lord willing, to publish posts from the past. I could simply “reblog” them – a lot less work, but I don’t like the fact that you can only read part of the post, then have to go somewhere else to finish it. There will probably also be a little editing as I go along.)
I came across this about 65 years ago in a copy of my Grandmother’s “Our Daily Bread.” I was enchanted by it and read it so much that I actually memorized it without meaning to. It was printed simply as a paragraph and it took me some time to realize that it was actually a poem. It’s been some time since I’ve seen or heard it, and what follows is largely from memory. I’ve “updated” it a little and I’m sure it’s not exactly as Myra Brooks Welch wrote it. My apologies to her. Anyway, here it is –
Twas battered and scarred, and the auctioneer scarcely thought it worth his while
To waste much time on the old violin, but he held it up with a smile.
“What am I bidden, good people?” he cried. “Who’ll start the bidding for me?
“A dollar. A dollar. Now 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 up the bow.
Then wiping the dust from the old violin and tightening the loose strings,
He played a melody pure and sweet, as sweet as an 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! A thousand! Do I hear two? Two thousand, who’ll make it three?
“Three thousand once, three thousand twice, and going and gone,” said he.
The people cheered, but some of them said, “We don’t quite understand.
“What changed it’s worth?” Swift came the reply, “The touch of a master’s hand.”
And many a man, and woman, too, with a life that’s been battered by sin,
Is auctioned cheap to a thoughtless crowd, much like that old violin.
A night of revel, a glass of wine, a game – as they “party on”.
They are “going once,” and “going twice.” “Going” and almost “gone.”
But the Master comes, and the foolish crowd can never quite understand
The worth of a soul, and the change that’s wrought by the touch of the Master’s hand.
I’m so thankful for that touch!
(Originally published February 25, 2013. edited)