1. PRIEST of our rite, stand up erect, O Agni, in the Gods’ service best of sacrificers, For over every thought thou art the Ruler: thou furtherest e’en the wisdom of the pious. 2. He was set down mid men as Priest unerring, Agni, wise, welcome in our holy synods. Like Savitar he hath lifted up his splendour, and like a builder raised his smoke to heaven. 3. The glowing ladle, filled with oil, is lifted; choosing Gods’ service to the right he circles. Eager he rises like the new-wrought pillar which, firmly set and fixed, anoints the victims. 4. When sacred grass is strewn and Agni kindled, the Adhvaryu rises to, his task rejoicing. Agni the Priest, like one who tends the cattle, goes three times round, as from of old he wills it. 5. Agni himself, the Priest, with measured motion, goes round, with sweet speech, cheerful, true to Order. His fulgent flames run forth like vigorous horses; all creatures are affrighted when he blazes. 6. Beautiful and auspicious is thine aspect, O lovely Agni, terrible when spreading. Thy splendours are not covered by the darkness: detraction leaves no stain upon thy body. 7. Naught hindered his production, Bounteous Giver: his Mother and his Sire were free to send him. Then as Friend benevolent, refulgent, Agni shone forth in human habitations. 8. He, Agni, whom the twice-five sisters, dwelling together, in the homes of men engendered, Bright like a spear’s tooth, wakened in the morning, with powerful mouth and like an axe well-sharpened. 9. These thy Bay Coursers, Agni, dropping fatness, ruddy vigorous, speeding straightly forward, And red steeds, wonderful, of mighty muscle, are to this service of the Gods invited: 10. These brightly-shining games of thine, O Agni, that move for ever restless, allsubduing, Like falcons hasting eagerly to the quarry, roar loudly like the army of the Maruts. 11. To thee, O flaming God, hath prayer been offered. Let the priest laud thee: give to him who worships. Men have established Agni as Invoker, fain to adore the glory of the living.