Vedic Hymns, Part II (SBE46), by Hermann Oldenberg , at sacred-texts.com
1. We choose Agni as our messenger, the all-possessor, as the Hotri of this sacrifice, the highly wise.
2. Agni and Agni again they constantly invoked with their invocations, the lord of the clans, the bearer of oblations, the beloved of many.
3. Agni, when born, conduct the gods hither for him who has strewn the Barhis (sacrificial grass) 1; thou art our Hotri, worthy of being magnified 2.
4. Awaken them, the willing ones, when thou goest as messenger, O Agni. Sit down with the gods on the Barhis.
5. O thou to whom Ghrita oblations are poured out, resplendent (god), burn against the mischievous, O Agni, against the sorcerers.
6. By Agni Agni is kindled (or, by fire fire is kindled), the sage, the master of the house, the young one, the bearer of oblations, whose mouth is the sacrificial spoon.
7. Praise Agni the sage, whose ordinances for the sacrifice are true, the god who drives away sickness.
8. Be the protector, O Agni, of a master of sacrificial food who worships thee, O god, as his messenger.
9. Be merciful, O purifier, unto the man who is rich in sacrificial food, and who invites Agni to the feast of the gods.
10. Thus, O Agni, resplendent purifier, conduct
the gods hither to us, to our sacrifice and to our food.
11. Thus praised by us with our new Gâyatra hymn, bring us wealth of valiant men and food.
12. Agni with thy bright splendour be pleased, through all our invocations of the gods, with this our praise.
This hymn is ascribed to Medhâtithi Kânva. It is the opening hymn of a collection which extends from I, 12 to 23 (not, as Ludwig, III, 102, believes, from I, 2 to 17; see my Prolegomena, p. 220). That the authorship of this collection belongs indeed to the Kanva family, whose poetical compositions are found partly in the first and partly in the eighth Mandala, is shown by the text of 14, 2–5, and by other evidence; see Zeitschr. der Deutschen Morg. Gesellschaft, XXXVIII, 448.
The metre is Gâyatrî. It is possible, though I do not think it probable, that the hymn should be considered as consisting of Trikas. Verse 1 = SV. I, 3; TS. II, 5, 8, 5; V, 5, 6, 1; TB. III, 5, 2, 3; MS. IV, 10, 2. Verses 1–3= SV. II, 140–142; AV. XX, 101, 1–3. Verse 2 = TS. IV, 3, 13, 8; MS. IV, 10, 1. Verse 3 = TB. III, II, 6, 2. Verses 6, 8, 9 = SV. II, 194–196. Verse 6 = TS. I, 4, 46, 3; III, 5, 11, 5; V, 5, 6, 1; TB. II, 7, 12, 3; MS. IV, 10, 2 (3). Verse 7 = SV. I, 32. Verse 10 = VS. XVII, 9; TS. I, 3, 14, 8; 5, 5, 3; IV, 6, 1, 3; MS. I, 5, 1.
Note 1. On vriktábarhis, comp. RV. I, 116, 1; M. M., vol. xxxii, pp. 84 seq., 109; Geldner, P. G., Vedische Studien, I, 152.
Note 2. On î´dyah, comp. the note on îde I, 1, 1.