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