Vedic Hymns, Part II (SBE46), by Hermann Oldenberg , at sacred-texts.com
1. Agni has been wakened by the fuel of men, in face of the Dawn who approaches like a milch-cow. His flames stream forward to the sky like quick (birds) that fly up to a branch.
2. The Hotri has been wakened that there may be sacrifice for the gods. Gracious Agni has stood upright in the morning. When he has been kindled, his brilliant stream of flames has been seen. The great god has been released from darkness.
3. When he has wakened the string of the crowd (of worshippers) 1, the bright Agni anoints himself with bright cows 2. Then the Dakshinâ is yoked, striving for gain 3. He who stands upright has, by the sacrificial ladles, sucked her who lies extended 4.
4. Towards Agni the minds of the pious turn together as (all) eyes (turn) to the sun. When both Dawns of different colour 1 give birth to him, the white racer is born at the beginning of days.
5. For He, the noble one, has been born at the beginning of days, the red one has been laid down in the woods that have been laid down. Agni, the Hotri, the best sacrificer, has sat down, bestowing his seven treasures on every house.
6. Agni, the Hotri, the best sacrificer, sat down in the mother's lap, in the sweet-smelling place, the young sage growing up in many places, the righteous one, the supporter of tribes, and kindled in their midst.
7. They magnify with adorations that priest efficacious at sacrifices, Agni the Hotri, who has spread himself over heaven and earth according to Rita; they groom (Agni), the own racer (of men), with Ghrita.
8. He who likes to be groomed, is groomed in his own (abode), the house-friend 1, praised by sages, our auspicious guest, the bull with a thousand horns who has the strength of such a one. O Agni! By this power thou surpassest all other (beings).
9. O Agni! Thou overtakest all other (beings) in one moment (for the sake of him) to whom Thou hast become visible as the fairest one, thou who shouldst be magnified, the wonderful, brilliant one, the beloved guest of human clans.
10. To thee, O youngest (god), the tribes bring tribute, O Agni, from near and far. Behold 1 the grace of the most glorious (god)! Mighty, O Agni, is thy great and glorious shelter.
11. Mount to-day, O shining Agni, the shining car, in the neighbourhood of the worshipful (gods). Knowing the paths, the wide air 1, bring hither the gods that they may eat the oblation.
12. We have pronounced an adoring speech to the holy sage, to the manly bull. Gavishthira adoringly has sent his song of praise to Agni as the gold (i. e. the sun) far-reaching (is sent by the gods upward) to the sky.
The Rishis are Budha Âtreya (cf. verse 1, ábodhi) and Gavishthira Âtreya (cf. verse 12). The metre is Trishtubh.—Verse 1 = SV. I, 73; AV. XIII, 2, 46; VS. XV, 24; TS.
[paragraph continues] IV, 4, 4, 1. Verses 1–2 = MS. II, 13, 7. Verses 1–3 = SV. II, 1096–1098. Verse 5 = TS. IV, I, 3, 4. Verse 6 = MS. IV, 11, 1; TB. I, 3, 14, 1. Verse 9 = TB. II, 4, 7, 10. Verse 10 = MS. IV, 11, 4; TB. II, 4, 7, 9. Verse 12 = MS. II, 13, 7; TB. IV, 4, 4, 2; VS. XV, 25.
Note 1. The meaning seems to be: when Agni has set into motion the string (representing the prayers, &c.) by which the worshippers tie and instigate him and the other powers of the sacrifice. Cf. IV, I, 9. prá tám (scil. agním) mahyâ´ rasanáyâ nayanti; IX, 87, 1. ásvam ná tvâ (scil. sómam) vâgínam margáyantah ákkha barhíh rasanâ´bhih nayanti. See also I, 163, 4. 5.
Note 2. I. e. with bright ghrita.
Note 3. The Dakshinâ or sacrificial gift offered by the Yagamâna to the ministrant priests, is represented here as a car which is yoked in the morning. Cf. Bergaigne, Rel. Védique, I, 128; III, 283.
Note 4. 'He who stands upright' is Agni; 'she who lies extended' seems to be the cow, i. e. the ghrita which Agni sucks by means of the sacrificial ladles.—See also Pischel, Vedische Studien, II, 113, from whose interpretation I differ.
Note 1. I. e. Night and Dawn.
Note 1. I cannot adopt the conjectures of Bartholomae (Bezzenberger's Beiträge, XV, 197) on své dámûnâh.
Note 1. The human worshipper seems to be addressed; the 'most glorious one' is very probably Agni.
Note 1. Vidvân, which may be construed with the genitive or with the accusative, stands here with both cases.