'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 will start bidding for me? A dollar, a dollar" -- then, "Two!" "Only two? Two dollars, and who'll make it three?


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 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 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 the master's hand."


And many a man with life out of tune, And battered and scattered with sin, Is auctioned off 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's "going" once, and "going" twice, He's "going" and "almost gone."


But the Master comes and the foolish crowd Never quite understands The worth of a soul and the change that's wrought By the touch of the Master's hand.