The master’s touch

While searching through a used book cart, I found a picture book whose illustrations were wrapped around the text of a 1936 poem.  I scooped up this bargain, as it has special  meaning for  me.  Some years back, a student of mine finishing the short community course on massage that I was then teaching, read this in my honor.  It is one of the greatest tributes I ever received.  The text goes like this:

Twas battered and scared, and the auctioneer

Thought it scarcely worth his while

To waste much time on the old violin,

But he held it up with a smile.

“What am I bidden, good folks,” he cried,

“Who’ll start bidding for me?

A dollar, a dollar – now who”ll make it 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 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 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?” The man replied:

“The touch of the masters hand.”

–by Myra Welch

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