C.D. Lewis says: "New objects of sense may have been assimilated by the general consciousness, but they may still lie outside the general imagination...." True, imagination is a broader and more complex process, arising, as it does, from a long series of experiences and their assimilation at different stages of cognition. Thus those who assign Robert Burns purely to "Scottish rusticity" reject a whole national experience and its underlying solidity. Burns, whose two hundred and fiftieth birth anniversary falls on the twenty-fifth of this month, was born in 1759 and lived only thirty-five years. Son of a cotter, or a small farmer, he was put early on farm-labour, which did not diminish his inborn inclination to literature. It was the publication of his first collection of poems that saved him from migrating to Jamaica to become a slave-driver. It also enabled him to buy some land and become a gentleman-farmer. Apparently the enterprise failed, forcing him to join the state's excise department, which apparently did not come in the way of his literary pursuits. His boozing and womanising ultimately undermined his health. Like Wordsworth, he sympathised with the ideas of the French Revolution, which seems to have attracted the intellectuals as the Russian Revolution did in the twentieth century. And the humaneness, which attracted him to the revolution, permeates his poetry. When his plough digs into a mouse's nest, he writes: "Wee, sleekit, cow'rin', tim'rous beastie;- I am truly sorry man's dominion/Has truly broken Nature's social union-Thy wee bit housie, too, in ruin;/Its silly wa's the win's are strewin';" Or his "Lament of Mary, Queen of Scotts": "Now nature hangs her mantle green/On every blooming tree,/And spreads her sheets o' daisies white/Out owre the grassy lea;-But nought can glad the weary wright/ That fast in durance lies." Or from a ballad: "Love thou hast pleasures; and deep hae I loved;/Love thou hast sorrows; and sair hae I proved:/But this bruised heart that now bleeds in my breast,/I can feel its throbbing will soon be at rest." So, with England in the frenzy of the beginning of the industrial revolution, this Scottish cotter sings of the lives of his homeland's farmers, who make the stony earth bloom, sings, as well, of his young queen in the claws of her cruel royal cousin. I don't know why Burns often reminds me of Yesenin (1895-1925), the Russian peasant lad, who sang of complex emotions in simple language. He welcomed the Russian Revolution, as Burns had welcomed the French one, sang of the various young women of Russia and the Caucasus, married the dancer, Isadora Duncan and, ultimately committed suicide. He writes: "In the forest today I noticed/Wheel tracks where a cart had rolled./ The breeze below dark cloud blowing/Is ruffling the arch of gold." But he requires a separate comment. The writer is a former ambassador