Several year’s ago my Great Uncle Barney recited this poem to me. For years I thought this poem originated in Ireland because my uncle did not come to America until he was in his 20′s and I was sure he learned this poem as a child. Imagine my surprise when I found out after he passed that the poem was written by an American woman in 1921. According to the writer, Myra Brooks Welch she was inspired to write this poem after she heard a speaker address a group of students. Myra said she became filled with light, and “Touch of the Master’s Hand” wrote itself in 30 minutes. Ms. Brooks felt this poem was a gift from God and sent it to her church news bulletin anonymously. Amazingly several years later, after being spread like magic, the poem was read at an International Religious Convention as was credited as “Author Unknown”. Upon hearing this a young man stood up and said, “I know the author, and it’s time the world did too. It was written by my mother, Myra Welch”. How awesome is that!
Please take the time to read this poem and share it with your loved ones. This poem is beautiful and I promise you, you will think differently after you read it. This poem sinks in and I have never forgotten where I heard it and you might not forget it either. I hope! Please let me know what you think and if you’ve had a poem or story touch you so deeply. I’d love to hear from you.
The Touch of the Master’s Hand
‘Twas battered and scarred,
And the auctioneer thought it
hardly worth his while
To waste his time on the old violin,
but he held it up with a smile.
“What am I bid, good people”, he cried,
“Who starts the bidding for me?”
“One dollar, one dollar, Do I hear two?”
“Two dollars, who makes it three?”
“Three dollars once, three dollars twice, going for three,”
From the room far back a gray bearded man
Came forward and picked up the bow,
Then wiping the dust from the old violin
And tightening up the strings,
He played a melody, pure and sweet
As sweet as the angel sings.
The music ceased and the auctioneer
With a voice that was quiet and low,
Said “What now am I bid for this old violin?”
As he held it aloft with its’ bow.
“One thousand, one thousand, Do I hear two?”
“Two thousand, Who makes it three?”
“Three thousand once, three thousand twice,
Going and gone”, said he.
The audience cheered,
But some of them cried,
“We just don’t understand.”
“What changed its’ worth?”
Swift came the reply.
“The Touch of the Masters Hand.”
And many a man with life out of tune
All battered with bourbon and gin
Is auctioned cheap to a thoughtless crowd
Much like that old violin
A mess of pottage, a glass of wine,
A game and he travels on.
He is going once, he is going twice,
He is 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 is wrought
By the Touch of the Masters’ Hand.
by: Myra Brooks Welch