Vedic Hymns, Part II (SBE46), by Hermann Oldenberg , at sacred-texts.com
1. Going forward to the sacrifice let us repeat a prayer to Agni who hears us, may he be afar or with us—
2. He who foremost 1 in … 2, when the human tribes met (in battle), has preserved his home to the worshipper.
3. And let the people say 'Agni is born, the slayer of foes (or, the slayer of Vritra), he who wins the prize in every battle.'
4. The man in whose home thou art a messenger, and to whose sacrificial food thou eagerly comest for feasting, to whose worship thou impartest wonderful power—
5. Such a man the people call a giver of good oblations, O Aṅgiras, a friend of the gods, O son of strength 1, and a possessor of a good Barhis (or sacrificial grass).
6. And thou shalt conduct them hither, the gods 1, that we may praise them, that they may eagerly come, O resplendent one, to the sacrificial offerings.
7. No noise 1 of the horses of the moving chariot 2 is heard any way, when thou goest on thy messengership, O Agni.
8. When guarded by thee the racer becomes fearless; the worshipper, O Agni, who is behind, gains the advantage 1 over him who is ahead.
9. And thou winnest, O Agni, brilliant, high bliss in strong heroes from the gods, O god, for the worshipper.
This hymn opens the section ascribed to Gotama Râhûgana, and belonging indeed, as several passages show, to the family of the Gotamas (comp. Zeitschrift der D. Morg. Gesellschaft, XLII, 221). The metre is Gâyatrî.—Verse 1 = VS. III, 11; TS. I, 5, 5, 1; MS. I, 5, 1 (I, 5, 5. 6). Verses 1–3 = SV. II, 729. 730. 732. Verse 3 = TS. III, 5, 11, 4; MS. IV, 10, 3.
Note 1. Or pûrvyáh, 'the old Agni,' cf. IX, 96, 10? (M. M.)
Note 2. I have left untranslated the obscure word snî´hitîshu (Sâyana, vadhakârinîshu). It seems to be identical with snéhiti, which occurs VIII, 96, 13. ápa snéhitîh nrimánâh adhatta (the Sâma-veda has the reading snîh°). Here the verb ápa adhatta (comp. VI., 20, 5; X, 164, 3) and the comparison of the second hemistichs of the two following verses, 14 and 15, seem to show that the word means some kind of hostile powers, which would do very well for our passage.—In Taittirîya Âranyaka IV, 23 the word snî´hiti occurs in an enumeration of the 'terrible substances' (ghorâ´h tanúvah) of Agni.—Comp. Ludwig, Ueber die neuesten Arbeiten auf dem Gebiete der Rig-veda-Forschung, p. 93.
Note 1. See above, I, 26, 10, note 1.
Note 1. See Delbrück, Syntaktische Forschungen, I, 20, 111.
Note 1. On upabdí, which literally means the noise produced by going, see Joh. Schmidt, Kuhn's Zeitschrift, XXV, 55; Hübschmann, Das indogermanische Vocal-system, 124.
Note 2. Yóh (comp. X, 176, 3?) seems to be a genitive of yú, 'the going one;' comp. sva-yú, subham-yú; Lanman, 401.
Note 1. The last syllable of asthât has the value of two syllables.