The Singing Soul


Sometimes I fall prey to feeling a little sorry for myself and what I perceive are my small problems.

  • I always determine to not let myself stay there.
  • People who have overcome great obstacles to lead an inspiring, effective life bless and encourage me during those times.

One of those individuals is Myra Brooks Welch, a poet who lived from 1878 until 1950.

  • During her lifetime she was called “The Singing Soul.”
  • Something someone said a couple of weeks ago has caused me to remember and to meditate on her most well known poem “The Touch of the Master’s Hand.”

In 1921 she heard a speaker address a group of students and was inspired by what he stated.

  • She said this poem wrote itself in 30 minutes.
  • She felt it was a gift from God and sent it anonymously to her church news bulletin.
  • She believed it didn’t need her name on it and the poem quickly became popular.

Several years later the poem was read at an international religious meeting “author unknown.”

  • 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.”

What the world did not see, was Myra in her wheelchair, battered and scared from severe arthritis.

  • One of her greatest loves had been to play the organ.
  • Her ravaged body had taken away her ability to make music.
  • But instead, her musical soul spoke through her poetry.

She took one pencil in each of her disabled hands.

  • Using the eraser end, she would slowly type the words.
  • The joy of these words out weighed the pain of her efforts. *



Twas battered and scarred, and the auctioneer

Thought it scarcely worth his while

To waste much time on the old violin,

But held it up with a smile;

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

Who’ll start “ the bidding for me?”

“A dollar, a dollar”; then two! 

“Only 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-headed man came forward and picked  up the bow;

Then, wiping the dust from the old violin, and tightening the loose strings,

He played a melody pure and sweet

As 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 them cried,

“We do not quite understand what changed its worth.”

Swift came the reply:

“The touch of a master’s hand.”

And many a man with life out of tune,

and battered and scarred with sin,

Is auctioned cheap to the thoughtless crowd,

Much like the old violin,

A “mess of pottage,” a glass of wine;

A game – and he travels on. 

“He is going” once, and “going twice,

He’s 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’s wrought by 

The Touch of the Master’s Hand.


Poem composed by Myra Brooks Welch

*From Book – One Hand Typing and Keyboarding by Lily Walters


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