and studying Shakespeare, drawing graphs and learning about golden daffs.

But, no, while staid and studious chums abused their fevered brains with sums,
our hero laboured to devise fresh outlets for his enterprise...
The fateful day arrived at last. The sweating little swots all passed,
each one admitting, in his heart, though while success was earned, a part,
a little part, was owed to Fred, their lucky frog, or Tiny Ted,
some mascot, amulet or charm or suchlike, keeping them from harm.

Our hero, who was not a swot, took his exams and failed the lot,
and faced a chorus of dismay: "You've learned your lesson, anyway."
Indeed he had. He knew that hope was easier to sell than soap.
And every day a thousand more requests came popping through the door,
for talismans and lucky stones, St Christophers and holy bones
  and charms and spells and healing vapours, bingo pencils, scratch-card scrapers,
magic numbers, lucky spoons, wishbones, horoscopes and runes
and fluffy dice and rabbits' feet... It would be fun, but indiscreet,
to name some famous names who bless our James for bringing them success.

Now, he pays all the clever swots to tie themselves in dreadful knots
in sorting out his V.A.T. and suchlike foolishness, while he
cavorts in blissful ignorance, in clover, in the South of France.


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