defectum: the word apparently occurs here first in this sense, and even later is more common either in the absolute use or with an ablative of specification than with an ablative of means; cf. Ov. Ex Pont. 3.4.37 “his [incitamentis] ego defectus” ; Phaedr. 1.21.3 “defectus annis et desertus viribus.”
 Lethaco gurgite: the river of forgetfulness is first mentioned by Plat. Rep. 621 C. Riese cites the (earlier) phrase of Simonides 171 “Λήθης δόμοι” , where the reference, however, is only to the lower world in general (cf. Hor. Carm. 4.7.27 “Lethaea vincula” ). Vergil (Verg. A. 6.705) describes the river as far within the lower world, Lethaeumque domos placidas qui praenatat amnem; but in Verg. Culex 215 “Lethaeas transnare per undas” is clearly meant, as here, the boundary-stream of Orcus, from beyond which there is no return (elsewhere the Styx); cf. Prop. 4.7.91; Tib. 3.3.10 “nudus Lethaea cogerer ire rate” ; Tib. 3.5.24 “cognoscere Lethaeam ratem.”
 pallidulum: the diminutive of affection; the paleness is that of death.
 adluit unda pedem: as a general expression for crossing a river, although it strictly refers only to fording, while Lethe was crossed by boat; cf. Prop. 1.20.8 “sive Aniena tuos tinxerit unda pedes” .
 te: etc. the fresh grief of the writer carries him away from his theme into an apostrophe to his dead brother.
 Daulias: so the transformed Philomela (Ov. Met. 6.424 ff.) was called, according to Thuc. 2.29, from Daulis, the town of Phocis, where Tereus lived; Homer, however (Hom. Od. 19.518 ff.), represents Itylus as the only son of Zethus, king of Thebes, by Aedon, daughter of Pandareus, king of Crete, and slain unwittingly by his own mother, who was jealous of the motherhood of Niobe, and supposed herself to be killinig Niobe's eldest son.
 Battiadae: Callimachus, the famous Alexandrian scholar and poet at the court of Ptolemy Philadelphus, was the son of a certain Battus of Cyrene, and claimed descent from the founder of that city; cf. Catul. 7.4ff n.; Catul. 116.2.
 ut: etc. the comparison is of the irrevocable swiftness with which the apple falls and the reminders vanish.
 sponsi: the secrecy of the gift, and the confusion of the maiden at its discovery, show that a secret lover is meant.
 malum: apples were proverbially the gifts of lovers; cf. the Callimachean story of Cydippe; Theocr. 3.10, et al.; Verg. Ecl. 3.71 “aurea mala decem misi” ; Verg. Ecl. 3.64 “malo me Galatea petit” ; Prop. 1.3.24 “nunc furtiva cavis poma dabam manibus;” Petron. Frag. 33.1 Büch. “aurea mala mihi, dulcis mea Marcia mittis.” Cf. also the story of Atalanta, and the explanation of the aureolum malum (Catul. 2.12) by the quotations from Vergil and Petronius
 procurrit: etc. Festus (p.165) refers to a proverb based on such accidents.
 casto: the girl is not of loose character, but a carefully trained daughter who has not learned how not to blush.
 gremio: the girdle around the body just below the breasts made the upper part of the robe a convenient, if not safe, receptacle for small objects.
 prosilit: the girl rises respectfully as her mother enters, but hastily, because she is surprised while dreaming of her lover, and is at first oblivious of other matters; thus her sudden movement dislodges the apple.
 The spondaic verse well expresses the girl's dismay, which makes even the swift fall of the apple seem to occupy a life-time.