The Old Violin

The Touch of the Masters 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,"

But, No,
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 and bruised with hardship
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

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Joan Keeling

2 weeks ago

Every time I read this poem, I am deeply moved. I praise God for the touch of the Master's Hand in my life!

Trudy Brown

4 weeks ago

Thank you for this beautiful download.


1 month ago

These words are incorrect. The correct words are beautiful and more powerful.


1 month ago

jesus is the violin, and the man is the pottage.


1 month ago

is the man like the violin?

Samuel Simon

2 months ago

This is one of my favorite poems. I read it everyso often because I am reminded that Jesus never gives up on us or ceases to love us even when I am disappointed in myself. God's love and grace in Jesus is unconditional.


2 months ago

I do not understand, who is the master? what is pottage?


4 months ago

That is such a touching poem it brings tears to my eyes
God is so good how he picks us up & makes us worthy again.
Thank you so much for making this available.
God Bless you


4 months ago

The wisdom of King Solomon, "Remember your Creator in the days of your youth...Fear God and keep his commandments,for this is the duty of all mankind." Eccl. 12

a believer

5 months ago

What a wonderful God is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Donna Mae

5 months ago

This touched me deeply and brought tears to my eyes for I was certainly going once, going twice and saved by the Master's hand.

Miriam Boardman Alcala

6 months ago

I was about eight when the children in my church were given simple poems to memorize to recite at the church service on Children's Day. My father was a lay minister and thought the poem I was given was too simple. This was one of his favorite
poems so I memorized it. I'm now 76 but I still remember it. This morning it came into my head so I looked on the internet to see if I could find a copy and there it was.


7 months ago

i love it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

shirley hutchison

7 months ago

Heard this in church this evening and was absolutely enthralled with this poem! Thank you for the inspiration!


8 months ago

Its makes me cry to realize how incredible things happen when we entrust our messed up lives to The Lord, the Master Craftsman, Creator

Marilyn Thusberg

9 months ago

Today I heard this song from one of the elders of the church and it touched my soul. So i google it for i didn't even know the title of the song.


9 months ago

Very inspiring. I have had this poem for many years and use it periodically as an illustration when in encouraging people


9 months ago

Let the essence of our beauty, capture every moment with God!


10 months ago

I can see my life reflected in this poem. May god continue to bless your ministry.


11 months ago

I have a poster with this poem on my bedroom wall. I have loved it since I was a child and an elderly man named Ebeneezer Bennett, who played the violin at my church, recited it on occasion. I am now a pastor, and I will be using this poem in a service this week.


11 months ago


What help do you need?


11 months ago

This is the ultimate degree of Grace. The question is not, "Am I saved by Grace?"; the question should be, "Through the Grace of Christ, have I changed?"

Ramona Rung

12 months ago

My young grandson, only age 7, will play his violin in concert tonight; his end of the year recital. I will give to him, as gift, this beautiful, touching poem. He is a bit young, but, I hope he will treasure it until the day it holds much meaning for him.

Pat Beard

1 year ago

My great grandmother had copied this poem into an notebook that was given to me more than 50 years ago, I have remembered it and repeat it to myself quite often. The lady who wrote it has been used by the Lord to bring blessing to many people.

Betty Sprague

1 year ago

My 94 year-old sister who is in a nursing home recited this to me yesterday when we visited her. I thought it was so beautiful so I looked it up and made a copy of it and sent it to my daughter on facebook. A beautiful piece of work and SO true.


1 year ago



1 year ago


Dorothy Goss

1 year ago

My mother used to recite this poem and others when she visited a care Home for the blind and other "meetings" now my
Granddaughter is entering a competition and this is what she is going to recite. I am going to use it next week when I do "thought for the day" at a group I help at.


1 year ago

Many year's ago when just saved I came across this little tract, I was so moved by it that I gave copies to others. I had felt my condition as worthless as the old violin. Thank GOD he heard the cry from my heart and brought me to salvation making me a New Creature in Christ It's many years now and His Love and Glory are as real to me now as then. I hope anyone reading the tract feeling worthless lonely or hopeless come to Know God values you so much he gave his Son for you He's ready to reach down his hand and lift you.


2 years ago

Over the years of maturing, this has become one of my favorite poems/stories. When one is down and not feeling any worth, a good Samaritan will show up to help. However, it depends on faith an prayer!


2 years ago

I love this poem! After reading it, I wanted to pick up uyp my violin and play as much as I could!


2 years ago

I luv it....


2 years ago

This has been my Dad's favorite for as long as I can remember. I hope to share it soon in honor of him at a local poetry group.


2 years ago


Sue Brauer

2 years ago

This has long been a favorite of says so well our worth when we are in the Master's hand, a state our soul's long for.


2 years ago

this poem highlights how my life is out of tune...i,ve lived and wasted many years...i know who the Master is,i know He is Jesus the Son of God,,,but i am scared to let Him revamp this abused instrument,.please say a prayer for me reader,.we all need the touch of the Masters hand....


2 years ago

My dad also is from the WW II generation. He formulated my life more than any other person.. Especially missed him yesterday , Father's Day , he was my master in so many thinks about life .


2 years ago

My father was a sweet WWII veteran. Fought in Normandy and Battle of the Bulge. He self medicated with alcohol and known as the town drunk. He was ridiculed, laughed at, and ostracized by both family and the town. He loved poetry. When I was 10, we had a poetry reading at our school at night. As a little girl, I chose this poem because of him and stood on the stage to recite it. It was the only time he ever attended a school event. He was so proud of me, as I was of him. He was the old violin. I, as a child, was the Master's Hand.

Carol B.

2 years ago

who plays the old violin ? I would love to have more of the violin music.


2 years ago

I first heard this poem at a gospel festival in my home town, and it really made me think. You see, my closest friend is a violinist, a very talented one I might add. However, this poem didn't make me think of my friend's skills with a violin, but rather something else. When he went to college, he found a harpsichord. This instrument was kept in poor conditions, and was practically worthless, but my friend, though blind, repared it to the point that not only was it playable, but sounds wonderful. Making that comparrison really made me think. As said in this poem, how many times are we considered worthless, but then God comes along, and shows our worth or fixes us in much the same way. This poem is a true blessing.


2 years ago

Used this in the closing of a few Sermons I preached, and still moves me Today


2 years ago

I absolutely love this poem. What seems to be old battered and scarred still has hope. For when the Master comes all will be made well. Thank you for posting this.

Carl A. Wood

2 years ago

Do you have a FB like?


2 years ago

Dear Grandma Jacobsen,
If you can send me a photo of Josh, I will try do something special for you.

Bless your thoughts, a proud Grandma!

Grandma Jacobsen

2 years ago

We have a grandson Josh, who plays the violin beautiful. Ond day he left it in his car and it was stolen. So disppointed he just gave up playing because he could not afford another violin. Now a couple years later conemplating marriage, how fitting it would be for his wedding to get a print of this poem along with his picture holding his stolen violin, as an encouragement to not give up completely, and that God still has a plan to bless him .


2 years ago

My father of whom I have just come to know Called me on the phone and read this aloud to me.... There was a healing that took place with in both of us..... Glory Be To God!

Wileen Trippe

2 years ago

This was a beloved poem which I memorized in my "expression" class in Dallas, TX in the 1940's--what a joy to read it again--thank you.

Paul Moran

2 years ago

I have used this in many sermons..And just resight it somteimes bacause..It say what it says....

akinyomi bright

2 years ago

It's the master's touch that give's worth to every dejected soul


2 years ago

I turn poem into violin song

Richard Clark

2 years ago

I have this poem framed on my wall, in the living room. It still makes me cry and thank the LORD every time I read it.

Rocky Young

2 years ago

Thanks for making the poem the Old Violin available. I am putting in my facebook page. It it brought tears to my eyes. I hadn't heard it in years. Thanks and may God bless you.

Bill Knapp

2 years ago

I learned this one in 4th grade

by Edgar A. Guest

Figure it out for yourself, my lad,
You've all that the greatest of men have had,
Two arms, two hands, two legs, two eyes
And a brain to use if you would be wise.
With this equipment they all began,
So start for the top and say, "I can."

Look them over, the wise and great
They take their food from a common plate,
And similar knives and forks they use,
With similar laces they tie their shoes.
The world considers them brave and smart,
But you've all they had when they made their start.

You can triumph and come to skill,
You can be great if you only will.
You're well equipped for what fight you choose,
You have legs and arms and a brain to use,
And the man who has risen great deeds to do
Began his life with no more than you.

You are the handicap you must face,
You are the one who must choose your place,
You must say where you want to go,
How much you will study the truth to know.
God has equipped you for life, but He
Lets you decide what you want to be.

Courage must come from the soul within,
The man must furnish the will to win.
So figure it out for yourself, my lad.
You were born with all that the great have had,
With your equipment they all began,
Get hold of yourself and say: "I can."


2 years ago

this was read at my dads funeral 10 years ago, and every word i can recit even now , no amount of money coulda matched him as a son,brother,husband,father,uncle we miss ya he woulda been 84 yesterday


2 years ago

I memorized this poem many years ago.

John Devoted

2 years ago

I am nearly 64, and I spent a couple of years learning the violin when I was 13 or 14, but I gave it up. 50 years later I have taken it up again, but to make it sound like the Master may take me the rest of my life. It sounds so beautiful when played by a Master. Jesus make me like you want me to be.

Tony A.

2 years ago

Don't know if I've ever read a more relivant and touching poem.Thanks Myra! You have given us all a gift with your words :-)


2 years ago

My mom reminded me of this favorite poem of my dad who we lost in May. It reminds me of my dad, the lessons he taught us and I can picture him reciting it to us 45 yrs ago. He is gone 6 months and not a day goes by that the touch of his hand is not felt by those thousands that loved him.


3 years ago

Thanks for sharing Michael, I'm sure your children will enjoy it, and may it create happy memories for them also :)


3 years ago

My Dad recited this lovely poem to us many times as we were growing up, it was also his party piece when family and friends came to visit our home in Ireland. I always like reading the poem as it rekindles the fond memories of growing up. I very much value his touch of the core values of life that he gave us as a parent. He is 97 years old now and I am happily married with our own three kids, aged 11, 10 and 7. I intend to read it to them this evening for the first time.

lonnie hampton

3 years ago

will use if for a serman i am preaching today

Bridget Herron

3 years ago

Thank you for the gift of your poem the old violin. I too I am like the old violin. I am tattered and torn no value in the eyes of man but I have been touched with fire by the master's hands.


3 years ago

This makes my birthday complete I can't listen to this enough


3 years ago



3 years ago

I always am blessed - one of my Mom's favorite poems. She has been with her Master for almost 32 years. Thank you!!


3 years ago

Heard someone recite this poem the other day in an AA. meeting. What a beautiful poem. It touched my heart. I had to look it up so I could have a copy for myself.

Kevin Bertram Clifford Wall

3 years ago

It helps to know that we can still lean on the Saviour.


3 years ago


joyce bos

3 years ago

what a beautiful poem.


3 years ago

Wow I love this poem :) God is good.

Arlene Woodrow

3 years ago

One of my favorites!!


3 years ago

This poem inspired me so much!

Judy Chapman

3 years ago

Learnt this poem as a child at 8 years I am now 67. It still has magic for me. I guess I understand the relevance of it a lot more now than I did at 8.

Leiam Faye Franche Gestre

3 years ago

What a wonderful poem.. Thank you..


4 years ago

I've played violin for almost 11 years and this poem touched me in a personal way. Thank You!

James Mast

4 years ago

What a Beautiful allegory to the change that occurs when a man or woman believes, REPENTS and recieves the gift of God thru Jesus Christ which is forgiveness of sin and Eternal Life with Him in His Kingdom. All Praise, Glory and Honor and Power to Him,who loves us and gave Himself for us! Amen.


5 years ago

Thats one of my favorites! thank you so much!


5 years ago

It's overwhelming how God value us in anyway we are.Love God so much......


5 years ago



5 years ago

I have heard that poem a lot of times but I always enjoy hearing it again, especially since I play the violin and it is my favourite instrument!


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