To begin, "Lord Randall" is written in regular, four-line stanzas and contains a great deal of repetition; both of these are characteristic of traditional ballads. In addition, the subject matter—which unfolds like a story or narrative—is in keeping with traditional ballads as well. The topic is somewhat sensational in that the text focuses on the death, by murder, of a young lord who has, evidently, been poisoned by his lover. He has been to her house for dinner, and returns home afterward, asking his mother to "mak [his] bed soon" and sharing details that make it clear what has happened. After finishing dinner, Lord Randall allowed his dogs to eat his leftovers, and they all died, so this is a pretty clear indication that the food was poisoned, something the young man seems to realize, as he curses the lover in the final stanza. When asked by his mother, Lord Randall says that he leaves his lover only "hell and fire," as opposed to the lands, money, and house that he leaves to the rest of his family. When Lord Randall asks his mother to make his bed soon, he seems to be using a rather euphemistic metaphor for death. Such is also typical of ballads like this. It's a peaceful image, that of lying down to go to sleep (rather than dying in the painful throes of poisoning).