Hold! Hold, base heart! for every action brings
Its measure, and more bitter at the last —
The goal is but the sum of all our actions.
On! On, brave heart! for every effort gains
A goodly meed, and richer at the end —
The goal is but the sum of all our efforts.
William Blocksidge, Songs o’ the South, London: Watts, 1908, p. 80
base = ignoble, lacking decent moral values, lacking good personal qualities, lacking honour; contemptible; cowardly; dishonest; infamous; selfish; corrupt, evil, terrible; regarding someone from a low socio-economic class, of or relating to a peasant; born outside of marriage; born as a slave; coinage not made from valuable metal or having a low proportion of valuable metal; counterfeit; lacking value, of inferior quality or worth, worthless
meed = a fitting recompense