“HAIL AND FAREWELL.” As befits a young man (Catullus is thought to have been 30 when he died), Catullus wrote much about death. The phrase “hail and farewell” is perhaps associated with Catullus as much as is “Odi et amor”. It is the usual translation of the last words in Catullus #101, a poem about the death of his brother. This wikipedia entry gives a line by line translation, including the translation of the last line (“atque in perpetuum frater ave atque vale”) as “And forever, brother, hail and farewell.”
Clive James makes reference to the emotions in Catullus #101 in this line: “For I, tear-drenched as when my brother died….”
Catullus #5 begins: “Let us live, my Lesbia, and let us love,
and let us judge all the rumors of the old men
to be worth just one penny!
The suns are able to fall and rise:
When that brief light has fallen for us,
we must sleep a never ending night.” (translation from this site)
Clive James finishes his poem:
“….Letâ€™s live and letâ€™s love.
Our brief light spent, night is an endless sleep.”