Vedic Hymns, Part II (SBE46), by Hermann Oldenberg , at sacred-texts.com
1. O Agni Gâtavedas, accept graciously our offering, the sacrificial cake at the morning libation, O god who givest wealth for our prayers.
2. The sacrificial cake, O Agni, has been baked or made ready for thee: accept it graciously, O youngest (god).
3. Agni, accept eagerly the sacrificial cake which has been offered, which has stood overnight. Thou art the son of strength, established at the sacrifice.
4. At the midday libation, Gâtavedas, accept here graciously the sacrificial cake, O sage. Agni, the wise ones do not diminish at the sacrificial distributions 1 the portion which belongs to thee, the vigorous one 2.
5. Agni, at the third libation take joyfully the sacrificial cake, O son of strength, which has been offered. And in thy admirable way place our wakeful sacrifice, blessed with treasures, before the immortal gods.
6. Agni, grown strong, O Gâtavedas, accept graciously our offering, the sacrificial cake which has stood overnight.
The same Rishi. The metre is Gâyatrî in verses 1, 2, 6, Ushnih in verse 3, Trishtubh in verse 4, and Gagatî in verse 5.—No verse occurs in the other Samhitâs.
This Sûkta and the following are, as their position at the end of the Anuvâka and the number of their verses show, later additions to the original collection. The 28th hymn contains verses destined for the offerings of sacrificial cakes to Agni at each of the three Savanas. Quite in the same way hymn 52, which also belongs to the later additions, refers to sacrificial cakes offered to Indra. The oblation of such cakes to Indra at each Savana is found also in the later Vedic ritual (comp. Kâtyâyana IX, 9, 2 seq.; Weber, Indische Studien, X, 369, 376), and several verses of III, 52 are indicated there as Puronuvâkyâ verses for those very offerings; see Âsvalâyana Srautasûtra V, 4, 2. 3. After each cake-offering to Indra follows the Svishtakrit-oblation to Agni: and for these oblations Âsvalâyana (loc. cit. Sûtra 6) prescribes verses 1, 4, and 5 of our hymn, according to the order of the three Savanas. From the text of the hymn it seems to be evident that verses 1–3 have been composed for the first, verse 4 for the second, and verses 5–6 for the third Savana. With this distribution the change of the metres evidently stands in connection. In accordance with the theories of the later Vedic theologians, we have here the Gâyatrî as the characteristic metre of the first, the Trishtubh of the second, the Gagatî of the third Savana.
Comp. also Âsvalâyana VI, 5, 25, and the very ingenious but at the same time somewhat hazardous observations of Bergaigne, Recherches sur l’Histoire de la Liturgie Védique, 16 seq.
Note 1. The text has vidátheshu.
Note 2. Comp. I, 36, 1, note 2.