Vedic Hymns, Part II (SBE46), by Hermann Oldenberg , at sacred-texts.com
1. This (Agni) has been established here as the first by the establishers, the Hotri, the best sacrificer who should be magnified at the sacrifices, whom Apnavâna and the Bhrigus have made shine, brilliant in the woods, spreading to every house.
2. Agni! When will the splendour of thee, the god, appear in the right way? For verily the mortals have seized thee who shouldst be magnified in the houses.
3. Seeing the righteous, wise one, like the heaven with the stars, who produces joy at all sacrifices, from house to house—
4. The quick messenger of Vivasvat who rules over all human tribes: Him the Âyus have brought hither to every house, the light, him who belongs to the Bhrigus.
5. Him the knowing one they have set down in the right way as the Hotri, the gay one with his purifying flames, the best sacrificer with his seven (forms 1)—
6. Him who is enveloped in many mothers, in the wood 1, who does not rest thereon (?) 2, who is brilliant, though hidden in secret, easily to be found, and striving for all that is desired.
7. When the gods rejoiced in the … of the herbs 1, in that udder 2, in the foundation of Rita 3, the great -Agni, to whom offerings are made with adoration, the righteous one, always approached eagerly for the sake of sacrifice.
8 1. Thou, the knowing one, hast eagerly performed the messengership of the sacrifice, looking over both ends, over the two worlds. Thou goest as a messenger, chosen from of old, thou who knowest best the ascents to heaven.
9. Thy path is black. Light is before thee, the red one. Thy flame is speedy. This is one of the wonders: when the virgin conceives (thee as her) child 1, thou becomest a messenger, as soon as thou art born.
10. As soon as he is born, his strength shows itself, when the wind blows upon his flame. He turns his sharp tongue among the dry brushwood. Even solid food he tears to pieces with his teeth.
11. When he thirstily has grown strong by thirsty food 1, restless Agni appoints a thirsty messenger. Consuming (the wood) he follows the … 2 of the wind. He seems to drive forward a quick horse; the racer speeds along.
The same Rishi. The metre is Gagatî in verse 1, Anushtubh in verses 2–6, Trishtubh in verses 7–11.—Verse 1 = VS. III, 15; XV, 26; XXXIII, 6; TS. I, 5, 5, 1; MS. I, 5, 1.
Note 1. The seven flames or tongues of Agni? The seven Hotris? The seven Ratnas?
Note 1. Cf. IX, 107, 18. pári góbhih úttarah sî´dan váneshu avyata.
Note 2. Possibly we might conjecture â´sritam, 'who rests thereon.'
Note 1. On sasásya, cf. above, III, 5, 6, note 2. Víyutâ seems to be a locative standing parallel with the locative û´dhan. We have here sasásya víyutâ … ritásya dhâ´man, quite as in V, 21, 4 the two accusatives ritásya yónim and sasásya yónim stand parallel. The meaning of víyutâ, however, seems to me quite uncertain. Is it an action-noun derived from vi-yu, 'to separate,' 'to keep off,' or from (vi-) vâ, 'to weave'? Professor Max Müller proposes: 'at the removal of the grass or tinder in which the spark is kept. '
Note 2. sásmin û´dhan; cf. below, 10, 8.
Note 3. Cf. above, I, 147, 1.
Note 1. With this verse, compare below, hymn 8, verse 4.
Note 1. The wood, the child of which is Agni.
Note 1. I take ánnâ here as an instrumental.—Compare with our passage VII, 3, 4. trishú yát ánnâ samávrikta gámbhaih; X, 79, 5. yáh asmai ánnam trishú âdádhâti; X, 91, 7. trishú yát ánnâ vévishat vitíshthase; X, 113, 8. agníh ni gámbhaih trishú ánnam ávayat.
Note 2. melím; cf. above, III, 26, 9.