FREE! Click here to Join FunTrivia. Thousands of games, quizzes, and lots more!
Quiz about Best Laid Schemes
Quiz about Best Laid Schemes

Best Laid Schemes Trivia Quiz


There are many types of scheme out there, from plots with evil intentions to the rhyming patterns of poetry. This quiz is about the works of the legendary Scottish poet, Robert Burns.

A multiple-choice quiz by Fifiona81. Estimated time: 5 mins.
  1. Home
  2. »
  3. Quizzes
  4. »
  5. Literature Trivia
  6. »
  7. Authors A-C
  8. »
  9. Robert Burns

Author
Fifiona81
Time
5 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
382,484
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Average
Avg Score
7 / 10
Plays
334
Awards
Top 35% Quiz
Last 3 plays: Guest 5 (9/10), Guest 96 (0/10), Guest 90 (9/10).
- -
Question 1 of 10
1. Arguably the most famous work of the Scottish national poet, Robert Burns, is a poem and song that is traditionally performed on Hogmanay. Can you name it?

Answer: (Three Words - 4, 4, 4)
Question 2 of 10
2. 'Poems, Chiefly in the Scottish Dialect' was the first published collection of the poetry of Robert Burns. Its first edition is also commonly known by what name relating to the town where its publisher was based? Hint


Question 3 of 10
3. The narrative poem 'Tam o'Shanter' tells the story of a drunken farmer's eventful trip home from the pub. What type of mystical beings chase after Tam and pull off his horse's tail? Hint


Question 4 of 10
4. In one of the best known of the poems and songs attributed to Robert Burns, the first lines of the poem declare that:

"O my Luve's like a red, red ___,
That's newly sprung in June".

What word is missing from these lines?

Answer: (One Word)
Question 5 of 10
5. Robert Burns's poem 'To a Louse' is written in a standard 17th century form of rhyming Scottish verse, which consists of six-line stanzas using iambic tetrameter for the first, second, third and fifth lines and iambic dimeter for the fourth and sixth. Which of these is a name is given to this verse form? Hint


Question 6 of 10
6. What is the name of the song written by Robert Burns in 1793 that was used as an unofficial national anthem of Scotland? Hint


Question 7 of 10
7. The song 'A Man's a Man for A' That' by Robert Burns was played at the opening of the Scottish Parliament in 1999. By what alternative name is it also known? Hint


Question 8 of 10
8. 'Ae Fond Kiss, And Then We Sever', alternatively known just as 'Ae Fond Kiss', was a poem and song written by Robert Burns for which woman? Hint


Question 9 of 10
9. "Fair fa' your honest sonsie face,
Great chieftain o' the puddin-race!"

Which traditional Scottish food was Burns addressing with these lines?
Hint


Question 10 of 10
10. "But Mousie, thou art no thy lane
In proving foresight may be vain:
The best-laid schemes..."

The final line of this quote inspired the title of a novella by John Steinbeck. How does it finish?
Hint





Most Recent Scores
Jul 08 2024 : Guest 5: 9/10
Jun 20 2024 : Guest 96: 0/10
Jun 20 2024 : Guest 90: 9/10
Jun 03 2024 : gracious1: 8/10

Score Distribution

quiz
Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. Arguably the most famous work of the Scottish national poet, Robert Burns, is a poem and song that is traditionally performed on Hogmanay. Can you name it?

Answer: Auld Lang Syne

Hogmanay is the Scottish name for December 31st and is particularly used to refer to the New Year celebrations - traditionally a bigger event on the Scottish calendar than Christmas. Although written in the Scots language, the performance of 'Auld Lang Syne' is definitely not limited to Scotland. It is sung right around world (particularly in English-speaking countries) and uses the tune of a traditional Scottish folk song. Tradition also suggests that groups performing the song should cross arms and link hands (i.e. use their right hand to link with their left-hand neighbour and vice versa), although there is some controversy over at what point during the song the crossed arms part should be introduced - in Scotland it is for the last verse only, while elsewhere the arms are crossed from the start. The British press were apparently unaware of this nuance when they berated Queen Elizabeth II for 'getting it wrong' when she followed the Scottish version of the tradition at the Millennium celebrations.

What many people don't realise is that Burns's poem includes five separate verses, all with different lyrics. Most people will just be familiar with the English version of the first verse and chorus (and repeat them over and over):

"Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind?
Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and old lang syne?"

"For auld lang syne, my dear,
for auld lang syne,
we'll take a cup of kindness yet,
for auld lang syne."
2. 'Poems, Chiefly in the Scottish Dialect' was the first published collection of the poetry of Robert Burns. Its first edition is also commonly known by what name relating to the town where its publisher was based?

Answer: Kilmarnock volume

Kilmarnock is a large town in the historic Scottish county of Ayrshire. Robert Burns, who is sometimes referred to as the 'Bard of Ayrshire', was born in the then Ayrshire village of Alloway in 1759 - modern-day Alloway is a suburb of Ayr, the county town. The 'Kilmarnock volume' contained some of Burns's well-known works, including 'Halloween' and 'To a Mouse'.

Burns first submitted his poetry for publication in 1786 as a means of raising money to pay for his passage to Jamaica, where he had been offered a job on a slave plantation. However, the success of this initial volume led to Burns completely rethinking his plans for his future and he opted for a move to Edinburgh instead. Fame soon followed - 'Poems, Chiefly in the Scottish Dialect' was republished by a large Edinburgh publishing firm, he had his portrait painted by the noted artist Alexander Nasmyth and he was granted entry to the highest levels of Scottish society. Not bad for the son of an itinerant tenant farmer.
3. The narrative poem 'Tam o'Shanter' tells the story of a drunken farmer's eventful trip home from the pub. What type of mystical beings chase after Tam and pull off his horse's tail?

Answer: Witches

'Tam o'Shanter' was written by Robert Burns in 1790, specifically for inclusion in the second volume of 'Antiquities of Scotland' by Francis Grose. In fact, its first appearance in print was in March 1791 in editions of the 'Edinburgh Herald' and the 'Edinburgh Magazine'. In it, the eponymous Tam o'Shanter stops off at the pub on his way home from the marketplace in Ayr and proceeds to get drunk. He eventually continues his journey home towards his angry wife on his faithful horse, Meg. Unfortunately, along the way he witnesses a group of witches, warlocks and the Devil partying outside the haunted Alloway Kirk (church). The witches then lead an attack on Tam and Meg, who flee towards the river (as their pursuers are unable to cross flowing water) and escape just in time - but with the lead witch left in possession of Meg's tail.

Presumably the story, which Burns stated was based on a traditional folk tale of the local area, was meant to be a moralistic statement on the dangers of drinking. Burns concluded his work with the verse:

"Whene'er to Drink you are inclin'd,
Or Cutty-sarks rin in your mind,
Think ye may buy the joys o'er dear;
Remember Tam o'Shanter's mare."
4. In one of the best known of the poems and songs attributed to Robert Burns, the first lines of the poem declare that: "O my Luve's like a red, red ___, That's newly sprung in June". What word is missing from these lines?

Answer: Rose

'A Red, Red Rose' (which also has longer versions of its title based on its first line) is a sweet song that compares the speaker's love to a fresh flower and a sweet melody, which will last even if the "seas gang dry" and the "rocks melt wi' the sun".

It is one of the hundreds of traditional Scottish songs that Robert Burns helped to preserve for future generations. Although attributed to Burns, many of the lyrics of 'A Red, Red Rose' and others such as 'Auld Lang Syne' are likely to have come from older sources that Burns either transcribed or incorporated into his own work. Burns contributed around 300 songs to the six volumes that made up the collection of traditional Scottish songs known as the 'Scots Musical Museum' and also collaborated with George Thomson on his 'A Select Collection of Original Scottish Airs for the Voice'.
5. Robert Burns's poem 'To a Louse' is written in a standard 17th century form of rhyming Scottish verse, which consists of six-line stanzas using iambic tetrameter for the first, second, third and fifth lines and iambic dimeter for the fourth and sixth. Which of these is a name is given to this verse form?

Answer: Standard Habbie

Standard Habbie was popularised by Robert ("Rabbie") Burns in the late 18th century, but can actually be traced back to a mid-17th century poem, 'The Piper of Kilbarchan', by Sir Robert Sempill - the piper in question being named Habbie Simpson. Other names for Standard Habbie include the Scottish Stanza, Burns Stanza or the Six-Line Stave.

The term 'iambic' relates to a metrical foot consisting of an unstressed syllable followed by a stressed one. A line of iambic tetrameter has four such feet, while iambic dimeter has just two. In Standard Habbie, the lines of iambic tetrameter follow the same rhyming pattern, while the lines of iambic dimeter also rhyme, but follow a different pattern.

The final verse of 'To a Louse' or, to give it its full name, 'To a Louse, On Seeing One on a Lady's Bonnet, At Church' is below. See if you can see the pattern:

"O wad some Pow'r the giftie gie us
To see oursels as ithers see us!
It wad frae mony a blunder free us,
An' foolish notion:
What airs in dress an' gait wad lea'e us,
An' ev'n devotion!"
6. What is the name of the song written by Robert Burns in 1793 that was used as an unofficial national anthem of Scotland?

Answer: Scots Wha Hae

'Scots Wha Hae' is sung to the tune of a traditional Scottish melody called 'Hey Tuttie Tatie'. Folklore states that the music was performed by Robert the Bruce's army at Bannockburn in 1314, ahead of their battle against the forces of King Edward II of England. It is also possible that the music inspired the Scottish army - the battle was a famous victory in their centuries' long struggle against their English neighbours.

The lyrics of 'Scots Wha Hae' ('Scots, Who Have' in English) form a fictional speech to his troops by Robert the Bruce before the start of the Battle of Bannockburn. Bruce invokes the memory of the Scottish hero William Wallace ("Scots, wae hae wi Wallace bled"), speaks of the upcoming battle ("Now's the day, an now's the hour") and finally motivates them with the idea of their independence:

"Lay the proud usurpers low,
Tyrants fall in every foe,
Liberty's in every blow! -
Let us do or dee."

This final verse might also explain why the song was adopted by the pro-independence Scottish National Party and played at the end of their annual political conferences.
7. The song 'A Man's a Man for A' That' by Robert Burns was played at the opening of the Scottish Parliament in 1999. By what alternative name is it also known?

Answer: Is There for Honest Poverty

'Is There for Honest Poverty' is the first line of 'A Man's a Man for A' That', which was written in 1795 - just a year before Burns died. The song has been interpreted as promoting liberalism and equality. In particular, the final two lines of each verse champion the idea that a person's wealth should not define their importance to society. The last lines of the final verse then point out that people throughout the world should consider themselves equal:

"That Man to Man, the world o'er,
Shall brothers be for a' that."

The Scottish Parliament itself was first convened in 1999 following the 1997 referendum in favour of the devolution of some powers from Westminster to Edinburgh. The Scottish Parliament Building at Holyrood was not opened until 2004.
8. 'Ae Fond Kiss, And Then We Sever', alternatively known just as 'Ae Fond Kiss', was a poem and song written by Robert Burns for which woman?

Answer: Agnes "Nancy" McLehose

A familiarity with the lyrics of 'Ae Fond Kiss' would definitely be helpful for answering this question as the first lines of the second verse identify the subject of the song:

"I'll ne'er blame my partial fancy;
Naething could resist my Nancy"

The full title of 'Ae Fond Kiss' gives away the fact that Burns wrote the song after the end of their brief relationship. Agnes "Nancy" McLehose was separated from her husband, but eventually left Edinburgh in 1791 to be reunited with him in Jamaica. Burns wrote the song and sent her the manuscript of it prior to her departure.

Robert Burns was notorious for his various affairs. Elizabeth Paton became the mother of his first child in 1785. Around 1786 he fell in love with Mary Campbell; her untimely death led him to write poems in her memory, including 'To Mary in Heaven' and 'Highland Mary'. He then married Jean Armour in 1788. Between 1785 and 1796 (when he died at the age of 37) Burns managed to father 12 children - however, only nine of them were also his wife's.
9. "Fair fa' your honest sonsie face, Great chieftain o' the puddin-race!" Which traditional Scottish food was Burns addressing with these lines?

Answer: Haggis

Haggis is the stomach of a sheep stuffed with sheep's heart, lungs and liver, along with suet, oatmeal, onion and spices. A modern variant uses an artificial casing instead of the sheep's stomach and the sheep's lungs are often omitted in American recipes.

The dish is the focal point of a traditional Burns Supper event: the guests stand when the haggis enters the room, usually accompanied by someone playing Scottish music on the bagpipes; Robert Burns's poem 'Address to a Haggis', the opening lines of which were given in the question, is then recited; finally, the haggis is ceremonially sliced open and the meal begins. Cullen skink (a type of fish soup), neeps and tatties (mashed turnips and mashed potatoes) and cranachan (a dessert involving whisky, cream and honey) are other traditional Scottish dishes that may also be on the menu.

'Address to a Haggis' was written by Burns in 1786.
10. "But Mousie, thou art no thy lane In proving foresight may be vain: The best-laid schemes..." The final line of this quote inspired the title of a novella by John Steinbeck. How does it finish?

Answer: "...o' mice an' men"

The quote comes from Burns's 1785 poem 'Tae a Moose', the English title of which is 'To a Mouse, on Turning Her Up in Her Nest with the Plough'. The poem is believed to have been written in response to an unfortunate incident in which Burns destroyed a mouse's nest while ploughing in his fields. Burns's parents were tenant farmers and Burns worked as a farm labourer for them from a young age. Following his father's death, he and his brother farmed together until Burns set off for Edinburgh in 1786 after the first successful publication of his poetry.

The title of John Steinbeck's 'Of Mice and Men' comes from the English translation of Burns's work (a must read for anyone not familiar with the Scots dialect). The full stanza in English is:

"But little Mouse, you are not alone,
In proving foresight may be vain:
The best laid schemes of mice and men
Go often askew,
And leave us nothing but grief and pain,
For promised joy!"
Source: Author Fifiona81

This quiz was reviewed by FunTrivia editor LadyCaitriona before going online.
Any errors found in FunTrivia content are routinely corrected through our feedback system.
Related Quizzes
This quiz is part of series Fifiona81's Quiz Commission Quizzes:

These quizzes were all written for various Quiz Commission challenges in the Author's Lounge.

  1. Losing the Race Against Time Average
  2. One Flew Over the Cuckoo Clock! Average
  3. Welcome to the House of Fun Easier
  4. A New Sensation Average
  5. The Rain in Spain Average
  6. 24-Carrot Gold Average
  7. Disputed Olympic Champions Average
  8. The Black Watch Average
  9. Going Up and Down a Staircase at the Same Time Average
  10. Best Laid Schemes Average
  11. When the Cat's Away Average
  12. It's the Cat's Meow Tough

Also part of quiz list
7/22/2024, Copyright 2024 FunTrivia, Inc. - Report an Error / Contact Us