Extra, Extra

Twas battered and scarred,

And the auctioneer

Thought it scarely worth his while

To waste much time on the old violin,

But held it up with a smile.

 

"What am I bid, good folks?" 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 the bow;

 

Then wiping the dust from the old violin,

And tightening up all the 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 dollars--and who'll make it two?

Two thousand--and who'll make it three?

Three thousand once and 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?"

The man replied:

"THE TOUCH OF THE MASTER'S HAND."

 

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 pottaage," 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.

 

(Myra Brooks Welch)