Yes, this poem is super old. Yes, it looks confusing at first glance, what with all the repetition and everything. However, once you realize that it's a pretty straightforward story about a guy who's been betrayed, and imagine the set up of the scene (Lord Randall getting home from a long night and having a heart-to-heart with his worried mom), it gets a lot easier.
No heavy duty climbing on this one. Instead, it's more like a kind of grim walk on an overcast, wintry day. And it's snowing. And you just slipped on some black ice and bruised your tailbone. It's not that difficult, but it is pretty depressing.