Vedic Hymns, Part II (SBE46), by Hermann Oldenberg , at sacred-texts.com
1. Victorious 1 in the forests, a friend among men, he demands obedience like a king, the undecaying one 2.
2. Like good peace, like fortunate wisdom, may he (Agni) be a kind Hotri, a carrier of offerings.
3. Having taken in his hand all manly powers, he has made the gods fear, when sitting down in his hiding-place.
4. There the thoughtful men find him, when they have recited the spells which they had fashioned in their heart.
5. As the goat 1 (supports) the earth 2, thus he supports the earth 2; he upholds the sky by his efficacious spells.
6. Protect the dear 1 footsteps of the cattle 2. O Agni, thou who hast a full life, thou hast gone from covert to covert 3.
7. He who has seen him the hidden one, he who has got near to the stream of Rita 1—
8. They who get him off, doing service to Rita, to him 1 he then indicates riches.
9. He who grows up with might within the plants, and within the children 1, and within the sprouting grass 2—
10. The splendour [?] in the home of the waters 1, the full-lived. The sages made him as if building a seat.
The same Rishi and metre.
Note 1. 'Gâyuh: aus gyâyuh, wie der compar. gyâyân gyeshthah zeigt,' Ludwig. But what shows that gyâyân is the comparative of gâyuh and that the utterly impossible change of gy into g is possible? Ludwig's translation 'überwindend' is right; comp. I, 119, 3.
Note 2. I propose to read aguryáh. Prof. Max Müller conjectures—as Roth (Pet. Dict.) has done—that srushti may mean 'obedient, servant;' he translates: 'He desires a servant (or worshipper) who is not aged.'
Note 1. On the mythical goat whose office it is to support the worlds, comp. I, 164, 6; VIII, 41, 10; X, 82, 6; Bergaigne, III, 21; H. O., Religion des Veda, 72.
Note 2. For 'earth' the text has two different words, kshâ´m and prithivî´m. Prof. Max Müller conjectures dyâ´m for kshâ´m: 'He, Agni, supports the earth, as the buck the sky.'
Note 1. Literally, 'the dear footsteps;' but the meaning of priyá may be compared to that of the Homeric φίλος, his own.
Note 2. One could be tempted to refer the word pasu to Agni, whose footsteps (padâ´ni) the 'wise ones' follow (65, 2), and whom they find out in his hiding. Thus we could translate, 'Look at the dear footsteps of the beast.' But the comparison of 70, 6 makes it more probable that the imperative ní pâhi is addressed to Agni. I believe therefore that Grassmann is right in translating 'Die lieben Stätten der Heerden schütze.' Ludwig's translation is
similar to this. Prof. Max Müller translates: 'Observe the footsteps of the animal (the stolen animal of the thief Agni).'
Note 3. With guhâ´ gúham comp. I, 53, 7. yudhâ´ yúdham, purâ´ púram.
Note 1. Dhâ´râm ritásya: comp. V, 1 2, 2. ritásya dhâ´râh ánu trindhi pûrvî´h, 'open the many streams of Rita;' VII, 43, 4. ritásya dhâ´râh sudúghâh dúhânâh, 'milking the streams of Rita flowing with plenty.' The stream of Rita seems to mean the stream of blessings (such as rain, ghee, &c.) which flows to mankind according to the eternal laws of Rita.
Note 1. The poet passes over from the plural to the singular.
Note 1. Bollensen's conjecture pragâ´su (instead of pragâ´h utá) seems very probable to me. Prof. von Roth (Ueber gewisse Kürzungen des Wortendes, p. 2) takes a different view.
Note 2. Comp. I, 95, 10 (see below); VII, 9, 3. apâ´m gárbhah prasṽah â´ vivesa, 'the son of the waters has entered upon the sprouting grass.'
Note 1. 'Why not kitih apâm dame, that is, the (burning) pile in the home of the waters.' M. M.