"Three dollars once, three dollar 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 loosened string,
He played a melody pure and sweet
As a caroling angel sings.
The music ceased, and the auctioneer,
With a voice that was quiet and low,
Said, "What am I bid 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 the cried.
"We do not quite understand"
"What changed its worth?" Swift came the reply:
"The touch of the master's hand."
And many aman with life out of tune
And battered and scarred with sin,
Is auctioned cheap to the thoughtless crowd,
Much like the old violin.