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Howard's End: The Touch Of The Master’s Hand

Shock reverberated around the world this morning on the news that New Zealand's Sir Peter Blake has been murdered in Brazil. Global tributes began flowing almost immediately with such a sad and tragic loss of the touch of the master's hand. Maree Howard writes.

It was battered and scarred, and the auctioneer
thought it scarcely worth his while,
To waste much time on the old brown sloop
But pointed to it with a smile;

What I am bidden, good folks? he cried,
Who'll start the bidding for me?
A thousand, one thousand, then, two only two,
Two thousand, and who'll make it three?
Three thousand once: three thousand twice;
Going for three - But no, -

From the crowd, far back, a tall young man
Came forward and jumped aboard,
He slipped the lines that bound the yacht
He hoisted the sail and was free;

The sloop it sped in the morning breeze
His eyes, they sparkled with glee,
Then he went about and returned to the dock
The man returned from the sea;

The tall young man tied up and left
Far to the back of the crowd,
The auctioneer, with a voice quiet and low
Said, five thousand and who'll make it ten?

Ten thousand once, ten thousand twice
And going and gone, said he
The man had left without making a bid
The man possessed with the sea;

The people cheered, but some of them cried,
We don't quite understand!
What changed its worth? Swift came the reply,
The touch of the masters hand;

And many a man with life out of tune
And battered and scarred like the boat
Is auctioned cheap to a thoughtless crowd
And discarded like a worn out coat;

But the master comes and the foolish crowd
Never can understand
The worth of a soul and the change that's wrought
By the touch of the master's hand.



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